Arsenal aimed high, and now they look to settle. According to Metro, Arsenal are looking at a free transfer for Stephane Mbia to fill in at defensive midfielder.
Since Mbia is without a club, Wenger can bring in the Cameroon international for free and at a low wage. It sounds like a match made in heaven for Wenger. Plus, the chances of Khedira joining the Gunners are dwindling.
This is the usual story with Arsenal and rumors. First, Khedira was coming to London; next, Schneiderlin seemed imminent to arrive, and finally, Carvalho was a sure deal. In the end, the French manager prefers Mbia. We are on a roller-coaster that started on a high drop, but is finishing in the slowest possible manner.
Mbia is not a terrible player. Last season, while on loan, Mbia helped Sevilla win the Europa League. His holding play allowed Rakitic to move higher on the field and create on counters. It is not at all surprising that Sevilla may reach out for him once again. Theoretically, the Cameroonian posseses traits that fit in the Premier League: strong, physical, and fast. However, his time at QPR was a flop (although I would blame it more on the club and not his game.) Maybe the jump from the Ligue 1 to the English Premier League was too much for him.
Knowing Wenger’s enthusiasm for cheap, mediocre players– the rumor cannot not be all ignored. Yet, considering the source of the transfer news, I would give it a 6 out of 10 on reliability. Metro is not quite reliable; nonetheless, this rumor seems far more reasonable than last year’s Luis Suarez attempt. That was plain comedy.
In case the transfer were to happen, Mbia most likely would be rotated into the squad to give Arteta and Flamini rest for major competitions. I do not think he would much improve the team (3 out of 10). Alex Song might have worked well for the Gunners. But Mbia does not have the technical qualities the Barcelona midfielder has. Wenger plays possession-passing football–a trait Mbia does not hold well. His best quality is that can play center-back, additionally to defensive midfielder.
There is a 75% of this transfer happening. The Premier League season starts this weekend; and with the original choices far from London, Arsenal fans may have to settle with Stephane Mbia. 60,000 pounds a week does not sound at all bad– well for Arsene Wenger and the club. We should at least appreciate the purchase of Alexis Sanchez. We will get another star player next year…hopefully.