Arsenal ready bid to bring young Frenchman to enforce the midfield at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Sevilla CF midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia is a player he is looking at signing this summer, but fears that the club will have plenty of competition to bring the France youth midfielder to Emirates Stadium.
“I don’t really want to talk about Kondogbia too much because everyone’s after him at the moment,” Wenger told the Sun newspaper.
“When you ask ‘are you also interested?’ what do you expect me to say?”
The 20 year-old defensive midfielder has had a fantastic debut season for the La Liga side, and could be the more workmanlike player that the Gunners require in that position.
Arsenal’s current options in the holding position, Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta, are more passers than tacklers, and specialise in rotating and retaining possession rather than regaining it.
Still, Kondogbia’s average of 2.7 tackles per game is lower than his north London counterpart Arteta, who makes 3.2 challenges per match, but he has other qualities that might make him a valuable asset to the Gunners.
At 6’2″ tall, Kondogbia offers an aerial presence and physique unmatched in the Arsenal midfield unless Abou Diaby makes a rare appearance, and his positioning in that anchor role has been vital to Sevilla’s success this season.
Opposition players dribble past the Frenchman less than once per match, and he frequently intercepts their passes to cut off attacks and begin his team’s own.
Perhaps a truly defensive midfielder could liberate the likes of Ramsey, Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky when they are selected in central midfield.
With Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid also named by the Sun as interested in Kondogbia though, his asking price is unsurprisingly high at £17m.