Arsenal‘s starting XI has proven its ability to battle with anyone this season, and had they have all remained fit there was reason to believe that Mikel Arteta would have led them to the Premier League title.
However, as is always the way with these arduous campaigns, things did not go to plan.
Losing one or two key men makes it somewhat possible to account for, however, when the alternatives are so poor, it makes for a frustrating viewing. For example, given William Saliba’s absence, the next-best alternative then became Rob Holding, who has never really been at the required level to play regularly for the Gunners.
Some roles are more bolstered than others, but with reports linking Kieran Tierney with an exit from the Emirates, perhaps the Spanish boss and Edu will seek to offer Oleksandr Zinchenko some ample competition in the form of Ferland Mendy, whom they are set to be offered the chance to sign according to reports.
Given their unbridled success in prying Martin Odegaard from Madrid’s grasp, with the Norwegian having been dubbed surplus to requirements in Spain, perhaps they could gladly welcome another Real Madrid outcast who can blossom into a similarly important player as their current captain for just a £17.5m fee.
How has Ferland Mendy played at Real Madrid?
To emphasise his importance to this current side, the creative 24-year-old boasts 15 goals and eight assists in a league campaign in which they are set to just fall short of Manchester City.
Everything good offensively within this team often comes through their midfield magician in Odegaard, and in Mendy, they could find a defensive alternative.
Having enjoyed a tumultuous time in Madrid since moving from Lyon, the 27-year-old is now a well-established star who would upgrade most teams. Although this season has not been his best, just last year he proved imperative for Carlo Ancelotti’s Champions League and La Liga-winning side.
Starring in the latter, the left-back retained a 7.00 average rating in which he scored twice and maintained a 92% pass accuracy, 0.9 key passes and 1.1 tackles per game, via Sofascore.
It seems that even strong showings of this ilk do not make you immune from the chopping block at a club the size of Real Madrid, as even Odegaard maintained a 7.23 average rating in his final full season before moving to north London on an initial loan. Despite this, their loss would definitely be Arsenal’s gain.
Given the remarkable care he takes of the ball, whilst also being branded a “1v1 beast” by writer Raj Chohan, it seems Edu is set to once again prey on the Spanish giants’ reject pool, which has already proved profitable once before.