Do Arsenal even need another top midfielder?

All the newspapers this morning are saying that the new Arsenal head of Football Raul Sanllehi is keen to make Ever Banega his first signing after the departure of Ivan Gazidis. The Sun reports today….

ARSENAL’S new chiefs want to land Ever Banega for Unai Emery.

The Gunners boss worked with Banega at Sevilla and wants the Argentina international, 30, to add competition in midfield.

It will be one of the first deals Raul Sanllehi will look at in his new role as head of football, following Ivan Gazidis’ departure.

Spanish sources say Banega has an £18million buy-out clause to land him before his contract expires at the end of next season.

Emery was interested in Banega in the summer but the former Inter Milan star chose to extend his second spell at Sevilla.

I am sure that very few people would disagree that Banega is a very talented player, but why on Earth would Arsenal need any more competition in midfield? Yes Ramsey may be leaving next summer, but Xhaka looks to be improving while Torreira and Guendouzi have only just arrived and Maitland-Niles will be back from injury soon.

Would Banega even get a look in?



  1. Sheet head says:

    Banega is good in defense and great in distribution. Something we currently lack in the midfield.

    1. Carshalton gooner says:

      Well said. Of course we need more. Ramsey may leave, Elneny is a squad player, Guen is un proven, Granite may be a top player but not yet, Torreira lols the part and AMN is also un proven with no tangible reward from him yet. Do we have a top player in midfield at all?

  2. Rafael Riato says:

    Yes, Arsenal even need another top midfielder … But not Banega.

  3. Lupe says:

    I think if ramsey doesn’t sign by end of december, he should be sold in january and then we should go for an upgrade. Banega is good and i rate him higher than most of our midfielders but i hope we go for a younger player. A player that has impressed me a lot in the epl is doucoure from watford, very good all round midfielder, could be a good option. I think our main focus should be getting wingers/wing forwards anyways as we don’t have specialists in these positions, aubameyang seems to drift out of the games a lot when played out wide, we all know ozil isn’t effective on the wings and mkhi doesn’t convince me out wide either, iwobi shouldn’t be a starter and nelson has been loaned out, so i hope the manager and the scouts are looking into this. Happy with our current form so whatever they decide to do, as long as we are winning, the fans would be happy.

    1. gotanidea says:

      They had Nelson that seemed to be pretty good as a right winger in the pre-season, but maybe they have another plan

      For stats lovers, Guendouzi tackled and intercepted a lot as a CM. Whereas Xhaka is one of the top passers so far (not surprising for me, because he played very deep in midfield):

      Apart from those two, there is no Arsenal players have great stats till the fifth EPL game. The number of through balls, assists and goals are dominated by the others (even Giroud has three assists)

  4. gotanidea says:

    The Sun is BS. Banega is already 30 and Ramsey is staying according to @kev

    What Arsenal really need is a daredevil winger(s) that is not afraid to beat his markers and has plenty of skills to do that consistently. An article showed that one of Arsenal’s main problems is their current attackers like to play too safe:

    1. Enagic says:

      Ramsey is nowhere near Banega.
      Banega is the closest thing since Carzola left and the is no one in our current group can match him in terms of skill set enagic

  5. Chris K says:

    There’s 2 and a half months of football before any transfers can take place. These kind of articles from mainstrain media only go to prove they have nothing solid to write about.

    In the summer I believe Arsenal were linked with 50+ players. We got what 5?

    I consider all transfer related articles at least until mid December purely speculative guesswork and by all means speculate, but I’m pretty sure it’s all nonsense page fillers.

    Sure they could be right, but it comes down to odds. Guess enough times and you increase your odds of being correct.

  6. Phil says:

    If Ramsey goes we have a replacement in AMN who will listen to his Manager and do the job that is required of him.Ramsey is a good player.Ramsey is NOT a great player.I would have thought we have more urgent priorities to address than in midfield.Kos is getting older and too injury prone these days to rely on.A CB must be the No1 target.Then we need natural width and pace from a winger.Why sign another 30+ player to an already aging squad?We have quality young players to come through so I can’t see Banega being a good buy for us.

  7. Roshan says:

    I want to have a crack at Martial, Draxler, Pavon, Brandt. We need a couple of midfielders with pace who can run at the opposition defenders.

  8. json says:

    I agree with the Author…..
    Why on earth do we need a new midfielder ?!!
    All we need now is time in order to adapt to the new System and a new defender to take the place of Mustafi!

  9. RSH says:

    Xhaka looks to be improving? He had one good game. Of course we need better midfielders. Ramsey is going as well. This is just a fact. I’d be disappointed if Banega was the replacement. That’s thinking small.

  10. jon fox says:

    The problem with calling any player a midfielder is that the word “midfielder” is too general. There are several totally different types of midfielder, eg Torreira and Ozil are both called midfield but totally different types. Myki and Guendouzi likewise. We need two quality mid filders of ALL types to be a top squad. I don’ t personally regard Ramsey as a true midfielder at all; he is a deep lying forward who is only really effective on late runs ahead of the ball. He is not good enough at all, in ALL other supposed midfield activities, except that he works hard. What we really need above all else in midfield is a true creative man who is ALSO teak tough, physically strong , determined and hard working. AND WHO STAYS FIT! Those types are very rare and very expensive. So I don’t see us even financially competing when those types are available.

  11. Boliviangunner says:

    Banega is no top midfielder. Althoug he has high creative skills, he has no marking skills. He used to play AMC for Boca Juniors in his early days, but he was moved to MC when he arrived in Europe. So, marking is not really in his genes. As I clearly recall when he gave an interview after a Boca game: -I feel great being behind the two strikers(Palermo and Palacios) and handing crucial passes to them. To my opinion he never achieved world class quality because of this fact. He was always played as an MC and he never felt as one. He didnt develop defending skills in 11 years in Europe. However, we beed to acknowledge that he is a very intelligent player. His positioning on the pitch is very smart; He uses spaces wisely and he complements de CDM very well, not stealing balls but at least putting pressure and rushing the rival into making quick decisions. In my personal opinion, we dont need more creative players. We need all the defensive skills and positions we can get; call it CB, RB, LB, CDM.

  12. aubamezzette says:

    we need wingers draxler,zaha,brandt,coman,pulisic,lozano,pavon etc

  13. Midkemma says:

    As many have pointed out, we have CM options and while some may wish for better… They are not the worst and we do need to strengthen other areas, Right Forward as one example. Notice I said Right Forward and not Winger? 😉

    Pavon and Pepe together could send a signal to our own forwards and the rest of the EPL.

    There is another article by the s*n and that claims 2 players, Pavon and Banega, I think the reported fee was around a reported rumored £55 million in total.

    The fact that it is looking at a wide man is not going unnoticed by many, Theo was inconsistent at best but we have not replaced him yet, I’m not saying we need a winger but a better wide forward option for the right would greatly benefit players like Ozil (number 10 role) and the CM if they have someone who will chase a ball in behind for the long through balls.

    If we sell multiple bodies from CM then Banega could be ideal, right age considering we have a few youth prospects who we will not want to lock out of the 1st team due to spending without thinking 😉 For example, if Elneny was sold and Rambo was sold. Lose 2 bodies, sign Banega and rely more on AMN (After Jan so fitness back O hope).

    1. Lupe says:

      @ midkemma
      I remember saying we need wingers and even mentioned that most top clubs use them and i even mentioned a lot of names. You disagreed saying nobody uses wingers but mostly wing forwards. Its funny because we were saying the same thing but because i used the word wingers instead of wing forwards, you thought i didn’t know what i was saying. Now i see you agree we need wing forwards as you call them and btw, the word winger is just a general term to describe wide players, but there are different roles within that.

      1. Midkemma says:

        “Now i see you agree we need wing forwards”

        What I said:
        ” I’m not saying we need a winger but a better wide forward option”

        I used wide forward as a wider range, I picked my words, you clearly didn’t 😉

        A winger is more likely look to beat the fullback and whip in a cross, an inside forward is more likely to play narrower while looking to shoot or provide close passing to the CF and be a different type of threat.

        Imagine the number 10 role but to the left AND right by about 1/5 of the pitch, this is not on the line is it? The positioning is different. Not only the positioning but also the players mentality. One is more to beat his man with a run to whip in a cross, the other is making a run in behind his man (using passing to beat his man) and become a goal scoring threat.

        They may both be wide players how-ever their roles are different and I try to be as precise as I can be when talking about positions, there are more positions than players who can play them in a game… this clearly means tactics is going to have a big part and we all should recognise this after Wengers lack of them 😉

  14. Grandad says:

    It’s quality defenders we desperately require, not a run of the mill central midfielder.

  15. herb says:

    We not only need one but more than 2 good central midfielders (who are not overly attack-minded).

    I’ve always pointed out that I rate Arsenal’s midfield as the weakest in the league (as it only has one good midfielder in Torreira), the rest are useless i.e. they are not sharp and fast in their ball distribution, do not tackle, track-back, or man-mark opponents, so the defence ends up being left open as these guys cannot perform their duties as due to their limited skills (I am talking about the likes of Ramsey, Xhaka, Guendouzi and Elneny).

    For example watch Chelsea midfielders (Kante, Jorginho and Kovacic) passing and ours then you’ll see that arsenal passing in midfield is mediocre at best. Guys pass very very very fast and accurately!!!! Sometimes even under Wenger era i used to believe that our midfielders are not taught how to pass because they make many inaccurate and blind passes for my liking.

    So I was very pissed off when we let Matteo Kovacic (a world class player) join chelsea and now he and Jorginho along with Kante make their midfield the best in the league.

    Anyway, Banega is way better than any of the midfielders we have now (including Torreira) so this is pretty simple; BUY HIM ASAP!!!!!

    For the wingers we have to look at Kingsley Coman as first choice and Julien Brandt as second choice anything else is just a downgrade (the likes of Martial, zaha, and other fake wingers that arsenal fans keep throwing around).

  16. Yggooner says:

    Hello everyone, I’ve been following this forum for some time now but this will be my first comment.

    Mhki, Ozil, Iwobi – all fall under MC/AMC true but they all have one problem “WORK RATE” , they will never effectively/efficiently play Emery football. This is a problem when playing the top teams. They don’t like/know how to defend (assisting full backs), they start outwide but cut into midfield so we lack width.

    Xhaka – offers zero mobility/speed in the midfield so how is he to close down opposition or press (and go back to position in time),this is a problem when defending counter attacks.His Work rate is not relevant since he doesn’t possess the speed to keep up with opposition attackers.

    Ramsey – supposed to be MC/AMC, long/short ball distribution is poor,lacks creativity and never sticks to position, good work rate but if he is always out of position it counts for nothing.

    AMN – good work rate, average ball distribution, what is his best position? Can he perform consistently in the position? Big risk to rely on him to produce the goods weekly right now when he is not proven and we are trying to force our way back to the top of the league (good prospect).

    Guendouzi – very good work rate, his ball retention will improve, distribution will improve.High work rate and desire to impress leaves him out of position often. Good prospect but I wouldn’t put my hopes for the season on this young lads shoulders

    Torreira – DM, MC this is the only player so far that I’ve seen in our midfield this season that seems to know what he is doing and what is expected of him.
    Solid distribution, solid in defensively in midfield,creates from deep, reliable positioning, can manouver out of tight situations.
    Imagine Torreira playing alongside a complete beast of a DM in our midfield, he will play the xhaka role better.

    Elneny – is like an older Guendouzi and can be good on his day but consistency and overall quality issues are things we can’t risk discovering this season cos the premier is unforgiving and we must get back up there where we belong.

    IMO the only person in our midfield right now that fits into Emery style football we can rely on is Torreira so you tell me if we need another midfielder or the type we need.

    OFF TOPIC: using strikers and midfielders as wingers will never get us anywhere (it destroys our width and support to RB/LB)

    If Bellerin is allowed to continue bombing forward from RB he will be our doom, he lacks positioning/running/marking/tackling will be better to play him as a winger and the old guy as RB.

    The defense will continue to have issues with playing out from the back cos of non mobile, poor positioned, poor work rate midfielders.if your best passers of the ball are upfield how can you effectively pass out from the back???
    Look at teams like City, Liverpool…compare the abilities of their midfielders.

    Monreal is reliable so far.

    Cech has done as well as you would expect from a good keeper (considering the midfield and defense in front of him).

    1. bergkamp89 says:

      I agree with everything you said, specially Torreira being the only midfielder who fits Emerys style, and what I like about Torreira is that he looks like a all round midfielder and his style of play reminds me of Cazorla and Verrati not saying that he is as good as them but definitely see Torreira taking over Xhaka in the future.

      For me Auba, Laca, Ozil and mhki should always be our attacking starters, but that would cause defensive issues and I think that Emery should balance that with Torreira and another hard working, mobile defensive midfielder like Kante, Torreira type who would cover for players like Auba and mhki when needed.

      I hope that Emery finds a way to make the four attacking players mentioned as our regular starters because I don’t we can keep benching players of that quality in the long run while not competing for big trophies and expect them to stay. Why cant Auba play on the left like ronaldo? yes we should find a balance so that Auba can focus more on attack and less on defense .

      Sorry for my bad english. What are your thoughts on this?

  17. Welishe says:

    How about defense gooners. It seems to be our biggest problem

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