Wenger has made signing a central midfielder to complement Cesc Fabregas a priority. With Flamini’s departure, the team has a huge void to fill. His successful partnership with Fabregas in midfield was the salient feature of Arsenal’s matchplay.
There have been numerous links to Gareth Barry and Xabi Alonso, both who in my mind lack the speed and industry of a Flamini.
Alonso is known as a playmaker who might not like being overshadowed by the much younger Fabregas. He also has a reputation of being soft on tackles. Barry is not known for his short passing skills which is Arsenal’s strength. These were Flamini’s strengths. Plus, Benitez seems to have made getting Barry to Anfield a central part in securing their first Premiership title.
Enter Gokhan Inler, the Udinese and Swiss international who had an eye catching Euro 2008. He was also voted as Serie A’s best new foreign player in the first half of the 2007-2008 season.His performance attracted Juventus and Newcastle but he appears to have set his heart on playing at the Emirates. He is touted as versatile and can play both halves of the midfield. Wenger has shown a great deal of interest in him. Udinese is asking £8m for him.
A video clip of Inler scoring for Udinese >>