Arsenal setting up sensational swoop for Dortmund pair
Arsenal, odds-on with Coral at 4/9 to secure a top four finish are reportedly preparing to launch a £63m double bid to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan.
Both players would be great replacements for Per Mertesacker and current club captain Mikel Arteta respectively, with the commanding centre back turning 31 next season and the latter, at 32, struggling with injury and unlikely to be a regular fixture for much longer, despite his class on the field.
Hummels would be the ideal player to take compatriot Mertesacker’s place in the starting XI alongside Laurent Koscielny, and is very similar in style. Aerially dominant, tough in the tackle and blessed with an ability to read the game, he definitely fits Arsene Wenger’s remit for a centre back.
The Frenchman has always had a physical presence in the heart of his defence, with Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure and now Mertesacker, so Hummels would carry on that trend.
Meanwhile, Gundogan, if he can remain fit, has the quality and potential to take the Premier League by storm. The 24-year-old is a class act, and is a substantial upgrade on Arteta, despite both players having great technique. He played a crucial part in Dortmund’s Bundesliga title win in the 2011-12 season, though has been unlucky with injuries since.
Arsenal have long needed an addition to their midfield screen, though Gundogan is someone who can do it all. His intelligence and decision making is perhaps the best facet of his game; and he applies this well to the physical attributes that he is equipped with, whether it be qualities which define the defensive side or attacking aspect.
When Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere return to full fitness, he would make a formidable partnership with either, especially with fellow German Mesut Ozil just ahead.
There is no doubt whether Arsenal can afford the outlay for both players, and with the stadium paid off, no debt and huge cash reserves, they can be confident of making back what they spend on the duo commercially in the following season.