Ex-Everton star gushes about Arsenal midfield target’s potential “He has the whole package”

Last week, it was revealed that Arsenal are considering signing Everton midfielder Amadou Onana. Reports surfaced during the winter transfer window that the club had discussions about signing Onana, but the deal never came to fruition. After the season concluded, many assumed Arsenal had moved on from his swoop, but this week’s reports suggested they were still preparing to bring him on board.

Should they sign Onana, they could be acquiring a player who is poised to excel at both the club and national level. According to former Belgian international Kevin Mirallas, Onana has the potential to become one of the game’s finest midfielders in the coming years. Mirallas believes his compatriot still has a lot of untapped potential, highlighting Onana’s physical and technical abilities to be one of the best all-action midfielders.

“I think his potential is huge, and I think when he manages to understand better and utilise his qualities, then he can go on to be one of the best in the middle for club and country,” said Mirallas.

“He’s obviously helped by his physical attributes. His size and strength make him a real asset defensively in terms of winning lots of individual duels. Everton are very good at set-pieces and he is one of the biggest dangermen from them in those moments.

“I’d say that size also helps him going forward, too. He’s great at driving up the pitch with the ball at his feet, and I actually think he could do that more. Maybe he will as he develops over the next few years. But it’s not just his power, I also like his technical ability which can be underrated.

“Onana moves the ball well and has really impressive technique – good touches in tight areas always. In many ways, he has the whole package of what a midfielder needs, like the perfect box-to-box type who can impact the game both going forward, and when defending.

“He is confident, too, and I think you need that to take control of games. I really like this about him.

“I think we will see him go from strength to strength.”

According to the ex-Everton man’s statements on the Toffees website, if you were an Arsenal decision-maker, I’m sure you would not hesitate to bring the 22-year-old to Emirates Stadium. With Arsenal looking for a midfielder to reduce Rice’s defensive responsibility, Onana’s physical presence might alter the Arsenal midfield.

Notably, throughout the last two seasons that he’s been in the PL, Onana has had a 61% success rate in duels won, the highest of any midfielder with over 200 challenges. This isn’t just scrapping; he’s engaged in a whopping 623 duels throughout that time.

As a No. 6, Onana might thrive in terrorizing opposition midfielders, as he made 3.06 tackles per 90 last season (92nd percentile) and won 2.24 of his tackles per 90 (94th percentile). Mirallas describes Onana as an all-round midfielder, and so ultimately, Mikel Arteta might also opt to deploy him as an 8 at times.

Daniel O


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3 Comments

  1. Very good player. He unfortunately did not shine in Belgiums last match, which is a concern to whether he can step up with better surrounding players.
    His set piece attributes could be a plus.
    But with what you say in your article, that he likes to drive forward with the ball, and with Ricevalso wanting to drive forward in his converted number 8 role, and with Arsenal in more of a need for an anchor type defensive midfielder, does this not cast doubt over his suitability.

  2. Arsenal need an anchor defensive midfielder with Rice now more attack minded, not one that runs forward out of position by carrying the ball. A true number 6.

    We need an anchor DM, in the mold of Chelsea’s old title winners Claude Makelele or N’Golo Kante, or Arsenal’s Invincibles Pat Viera or Gilberto Silva. All Anchor Defensive Midfielders, that helped their team win the league.
    Maybe theirs a telling title winning recipe there.
    Easy to do the Maths.

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