Forget Eden Hazard – Here’s Who Arsenal Should Buy…
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger should forget Eden Hazard and buy his international team mate, who has been more productive this season. Find out who he is here.
As we enter the final week of the January transfer window off the back of three consecutive defeats, many Arsenal fans are calling for manager Arsene Wenger to pull out the cheque book and make some big signings.
The one player Wenger has been consistently linked with for two years now is Lille and Belgian winger Eden Hazard (source: Sky Sports). This guy is undoubtedly a top talent and many reading this will think we should be flexing our financial muscle and spending big to secure his signature.
I too would love to see Hazard listen to his relative Vermaelen (so I am told) or his friend Gervinho and come to the Emirates. There is no question he would fit seamlessly in to our style but I am a realist and happen to believe he will go to Real Madrid.
What I would like to see however is for Arsenal to make a move for Hazard’s new Belgian international team mate Dries Mertens. After a great 2010/11 season with FC Utrecht (13 goals, 17 assists), Mertens, at the age of 24, was snapped up by PSV and has since enhanced his reputation with 13 goals and 11 assists to his name in just 18 games this season. Mertens is responsible for about half of PSV’s league goals (sound familiar Robin?).
Taking into account the Dutch Cup and the Europa League, he has 16 goals plus 16 assists in 27 games this season! Mertens is currently playing as an attacking left winger, which is Gervinho’s position, but he is in fact right footed so could play on either flank or just behind the striker.
He is diminutive at only 5 ft 7 but exceptionally quick and with a lethal finish and accurate final ball. Last year, with 20 assists in all competitions, only five players in the whole of Europe had made more goals for teammates than Mertens. Ozil and Messi were placed first and second respectively, if you’re interested.
If we accept that the standard of the Dutch and French top flights are similar, it might be interesting to compare the current form of our two Belgian maestros for PSV and Lille respectively.
There is little doubt that Mertens has out-performed Hazard in terms of goals and assists this season. Of course now that Mertens has proven that he can perform for a top club in Holland, other top clubs will no doubt become interested. PSV will be reluctant sellers as they only bought him 6 months ago, but i’m not sure they would be able to turn down a large bid from a Champions League team.
I would love to see this mercurial talent arrive in North London. He could be bought for far less than Hazard and has the potential to improve further. He’s only 24, three years older and more experienced than Hazard and would be ready to hit the ground running.
Thanks to @goonerdave66 from o-posts for submitting this guest post
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