Arsenal are being linked with Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi again, with the Gunners identifying him as the perfect solution to their deficiencies in the engine room. The 29-year-old is combative, a great passer and tactically aware, so signing him this summer won’t be easy.
Nevertheless, Arsenal’s ambitious approach looks a sign of things to come and they shouldn’t rule out trying to bring N’Zonzi back to England as they stand a good chance of procuring his signature for three reasons.
Arsenal are coming off the back of their worst season in more than twenty years, having finished sixth in the Premier League with a paltry 63 points, in addition to being trophyless. It’s the second consecutive campaign that has seen them finished outside of the Champions League places and they’ve won only one trophy in three years.
It’s not been a good couple of years for the Gunners, but things could pick up under Unai Emery. The Spanish coach replaced Arsene Wenger this summer and could rejuvenate the players who were clearly stagnating, and one look to the squad suggests Arsenal could be successful in the future.
They managed to tie Mesut Ozil down to a new deal in winter, while boasting an attack containing Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal should fare a lot better than they did last season, so N’Zonzi shouldn’t be fearful of making the switch.
Emery was the Sevilla coach who signed N’Zonzi from Stoke City in 2015, managing the French international for a season before he took charge of Paris Saint-Germain. Under the 46-year-old, N’Zonzi made 46 appearances in all competitions and developed into one of the best midfielders in La Liga.
He may be open to renewing acquaintances with his old boss this summer, although Sevilla are keen to keep him at the club. If Emery can sell his project to the midfielder, a move could be on the cards, but Arsenal and Sevilla look some way from agreeing any sort of terms.
N’Zonzi could be lured to Arsenal this summer with European football. The Gunners will be in the Europa League against next season, after finishing sixth in the Premier League, so the combative midfielder who get some continental action if he made the switch.
Sevilla, on the other hand, finished seventh in La Liga and lost in the Copa Del Rey final to Barcelona, so they won’t be in any European competition. They also finished on fewer points than Arsenal and have only finished in the top-four once since 2010.
Arsenal could be a good career move now for N’Zonzi, even after their woes of last season, as Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat and Head of Football Relations Raul Sanllehi are working hard to identify the issues of last season to ensure they don’t happen again.
Recruiting a cultured ball-winning midfield like N’Zonzi is part of the plan, but he and Sevilla may take some convincing.