Arsenal’s need for a dynamic midfielder is worthy of intense conversation, but James Rodriguez should not be a part of that conversation.
Arsenal‘s midfield should be on the top of their priority list. With Granit Xhaka as the sole reliable member guaranteed a spot next year, improvements are needed. That said, while we should be open to most any idea, James Rodriguez is not one of the better ones.
There are certain parameters we should be looking for in our midfielder, but it’s still fairly open-ended. Do we want a Mesut Ozil replacement? A deep playmaker? Both? It’s hard to say. But James Rodriguez would really only fit well into the former category—a Mesut Ozil replacement.
There was a time when I advocated for him to replace Ozil, back when I thought we needed to replace Ozil. We’re past that now. We don’t need to replace Ozil, we need to do away with the whole position.
By ‘dynamic midfielder,’ we need someone who can serve a multifaceted purpose on the club. Sure, James can contribute goals, but he doesn’t do much outside of that and he hasn’t been relevant 2018.
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There are so many other guys that should be higher up on our priority list. Especially considering that James wouldn’t come cheap. He’d likely cost as much as Thomas Partey or Marcel Sabitzer and he’s older and less relevant than the two of them.
Speaking of which, Partey and Sabitzer should both be higher up on the priority list than someone like James. Both have a stronger defensive work rate, both serve a more specific purpose and both have the invaluable presence in the center of the pitch, the same kind of thing I always brag about Granit Xhaka having.
Dani Ceballos is a better idea too. He’d at least be a bit cheaper, plus we’ve seen how good he can be, he just needs to stay on the pitch. Not to mention he’s way younger than James and is much more of an investment.
Santi Cazorla? Yeah, I’d take two more years of him too. Plus he’s be free. If we’re looking for a stopgap, like James more or less is, might as well let it be Cazorla instead.
Sure, there are worse ideas out there than James too, but there are too many better ideas out there to get too enthused about a potential move for the Colombian.