With the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said to have promised to finish his transfer business early on this summer, the rumor mill is constantly throwing up new names that Arsenal are supposedly interested in signing. The latest of those names is the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, Hakan Calhanoglu, who looks set to leave this summer after three successful years at the Bay Arena.
According to the Turkish newspaper Aksam, which is considered as a reliable source in the player’s homeland of Turkey, Arsenal have joined Chelsea and Lazio in the race for the midfielder, with Wenger said to be seriously considering activating the player’s £32.5 million release clause and bringing him to the Emirates.
Personally, I would take this particular story with a pinch of salt. While it may be easy to see why Wenger would be interested in the player considering that the Turkish international is a young midfielder in the mold of Mesut Ozil, it does not quite add up with Ozil himself looking increasingly likely to continue his stay at the club. Moreover, Arsenal have way too many options in midfield at the moment.
But then again, with Santi Cazorla out till November after having as many as nine surgeries and the time frame for his return looking likely to increase, perhaps Wenger is scouting the Turk as a potential replacement. Calhanoglu is a creative midfielder well capable of playing inch-perfect through-balls and beautiful diagonals whilst also having great expertise over free-kicks.
While I do believe that Santi needs to be replaced, I’d much rather have Marco Verratti or James Rodriguez come into the side. But the reality of the situation is that the club’s drawing power for players has been substantially reduced due to a lack of Champions league football. So taking that into consideration, perhaps there is a possibility that Calhanoglu might end up at the Emirates.