Santi Cazorla, a true mastermind of the midfield, is a pivotal figure of the Arsenal midfield yet looks likely to leave at the end of the season with his contract running out. His importance is known amongst the Gunners faithful yet our wealth of midfield talent is something not to be ignored so who should take on the mantle as the new magician of the midfield.
1. Jack Wilshere
Say what you want about Jack, on his day he is the best player on the pitch, end of. However injuries have always hindered his progress and now 24, coming 25, he needs to do a ‘Aaron Ramsey Euro 2016’ real quick. His style is that of the playmaker like Cazorla, his incisive dribbles and linking of play as he moves forward is something Arsenal are missing at the moment. A controversial figure but is the homegrown, Arsenal loving talent that we all want to realise his potential.
2. Aaron Ramsey
You heard me say do an ‘Aaron Ramsey Euro 2016’ just a bit ago and I said it with good reason. Off the worst season in his Arsenal career he went to France and arguably outshone Gareth Bale and became Wales most pivotal player. Aaron had his outstanding 2012/2013 season but never lived up to it again till that point. His incredible work rate (defensive and offensive), his passing range and goal scoring ability were all apparent in his performances. Even now Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka should arguably be our starting pair of midfielders right now and if he keeps up his performance he’ll probably take over Cazorla duties as a starting XI midfield player this season.
3. Isco Alcaron
Now for Gooners looking into the market, this is probably who your looking at to replace Cazorla. Isco has the undoubted potential to play the exact way Cazorla does but even better in his prime. 2 footed, technically brilliant, has excellent dribbling, versatile and only 23 he could be in our team for years to come. Another side note is that he knows that he won’t get the playing time at the super clubs as Rodriguez, Modric, Kroos, Casemiro and even now Marco Asensio block his path to first team action but at Arsenal he’ll definitely get the time to be the best he can be.
4. Gedion Zelalem
Looking into the youth academy this guy could be the perfect replacement for the Arsenal veteran. The American, in terms of his technical ability, is probably the best our academy has and is one of our best talents in general (check out my article on that after this). He controls the midfield with his dribbling and agile movements and also has incredible passing and vision to boot. His year at Rangers and conditioning training have improved his strength and since he’s about to turn 20 maybe we have another Alex Iwobi style breakthrough coming.
If Isco joined I would not be upset at all but the reason I love Arsenal is because they give all of there squad a chance whilst at the same time making them fight for their places. With our team’s midfield being stacked with talent from our starters to our youth players I don’t think we need to strengthen it if Santi leaves the club. I’d rather base our team off an Ajax style, self sufficienct team than the ‘let’s buy anyone’ system. We are Arsenal not United.