Why can’t Arsenal find a true defensive midfielder?

Can we go for a tough tackling defensive midfielder please? by Lagos Gooner

Hello once again. Hope your day is going on well? Over the seasons, Arsenal have been trying to get it right regarding buying defensive midfielders who would come and do dirty jobs for us. Over the years, we have found it difficult getting the Patrick Vieira or Gilberto Silva type of defensive midfielder we want, despite splashing money on players. Why has this been an issue for Arsenal? Is it that we have not been spending on the right type of players because we have been going for cheaper options? Or have we just been unlucky with buying players who show prospects, only to come to Arsenal and lose form? Why are we not getting it right in this important department?

Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva gave the Arsenal midfield and defence then a kind of covering that was difficult to penetrate. We always won back lost balls with them on the field and we always knew we had midfielders who could add up as extra defenders if needed, when we are under attack. But these days, what do we have? This has been a source of concern to not only me or the fans, but to also one of the best midfielders we have ever had at Arsenal, Gilberto Silva.

According to planetfootball, Gilberto Silva, our midfield legend, seems worried that his team has not replaced he and Viera, ever since they stopped playing for Arsenal.

He says: “It’s nice when people talk about me and remember me… Of course, I’m not too proud in terms of the idea that they never replaced me, but I feel proud that people think about me positively, despite the fact that it’s a long time since I left the club. This is a good feeling.

“But, you know, from what I have seen over the last few years, it’s quite true, because I and Patrick Vieira especially had a great partnership and I haven’t seen Arsenal replace this.

“I think it’s been quite painful for the team not to have stability in this position. They are paying a high price, but I hope at some point they find somebody who can fill the gap.”

Silva just hit the nail on the head! Arsenal has not found it easy replacing them. In the past, the only player that came close to replacing these great men was Alex Song! Alex Song was close, but he could not totally replace them.

I am not saying the midfielders we currently have at the club are not good players, what I am just trying to say that they are not the type of defensive midfielders we need. We need rugged defensive midfielders like Kante of Chelsea. Xhaka, Torreira and even Guendouzi are good players but we need better players. This is just my own opinion please.

We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua


  1. I agree….but Arteta will come up with a solid patnership soon…….wait for Mari debut

    Abdurabi Swelehe

  2. The person best suited to play CDM role at the club is …..oh yeah, Emery let him go..it was Krystian Bielik

    I’m positive MA would LOVE to have him available now.

    Oh well

  3. One of the most pointless articles on JustArsenal this year.

    Arsenal fans never learn, they judge players without any real basis or evidence. Lucas Torreira is good enough to be our defensive midfielder, we need to realise that the team is going through a transitional period, things will take time. Silva was part of a team that wasn’t in transition.

    Can we all calm down and wait least until next season to see how Arsenal will look going forward.

    You act like kids, have patience, we have a coach that has a solid plan now.

    1. That is a bold claim CanonSpike. We get told that we stick up pointless articles daily, you sure this is the most pointless article this year? Personally, I thought it was a good one. Matter of opinion I suppose but at least you have a lot of choices these days. Stick around today, you may find another one that is a contender for the most pointless article of the year or even, best article of the year.

      1. Admin Martin, Totally with you the whole way on this comment and against Cannon Spike. I can think of little more relevant than getting at long LONG last a proper and worthy replacement for the great and underrated Gilberto. Not underrated by most Gooners but by others out there. He was a great in my book and to try comparing Song to him, even saying “coming close”, IS JUST NOT TRUE!
        Nor in my book is Torreira and his lack of stature is a massive and ongoing hurdle in our ultra competitive Prem. I like his attitude but am merely , as ever, being realistic about his ongoing problem. He is constantly being bowled over and neither Viera nor Gilberto were much put on the floor by strong opponents.

        We badly need a proper DM monster and have not had one anywhere near good enough since Gilberto. Since he left us and Wenger constantly looked for smaller players our long, slow but remorseless slide into mediocrity began. In our Invincibes ALL key positions were filled by tall players and most were teak tough too. Coincidence? I think not!

        More than many Gooners, I like physically powerful and tall players. It is largely why the great Chelsea teams of the early Mourinho period won so many games. There is room for titches in some positions; wingers, creative midfielders, maybe full backs, provided we have tall , powerful CB s but it is said correctly, that a good big’un beats a good litle ‘un. Oversimplified maybe but generally true.

      2. That’s what I exactly do, I read other articles from other sources when given the chance.

        My issue with the article is the naivety associated with it. I’ve been reading Justarsenal articles for probably over 5 years, and I’ve noticed a gradual improvement of level based articles that argue all points.

        This particular article disregards so many arguments and simply comes to a conclusion driven purely on emotions and not logic.

        But I guess the intention of this particular article was to incite a discussion of emotions we all accustomed to (comparing current players to the invincibles).

        My apologies, I guessed I thought we’re passed those kind of discussions now.

    2. I agree with you that Torrera is good enough to be our defensive midfielder. I think the mistake we have committed over the years is understanding the role Viera played in the team. I believe we couldn’t have 2 defensive midfielders in one team. Gilberto was a defensive midfielder not Viera. Viera was a number 8 (a box to box midfielder). We had Carzola who played as box to box and was surely good except for injuries but we didn’t have a strong defensive midfielder behind him. To me Song would have been a great box to box midfielder but we used him as defensive one. I think if we had a good defensive midfielder then use Song as a box to box we would have been successful. Now we have Torrera but we dont have that box to box player at the moment. Xakha is good but playing too deep and thus not filling the gap of a box to box player and is too slow.

      1. I totally agree with you, I personally thought we’d all understood that now.

        Viera played a different role to what we originally thought.

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