Could a Swansea star be the Ki for future Arsenal success?
In the wake of their sensational Wembley win, FA Cup holders Arsenal are already being linked with a frantic summer in the transfer market, and South Korea skipper Ki Sung-Yueng is the latest to be tipped for an Emirates switch.
As Arsene Wenger seeks to build a squad that can mount a credible Premier League title challenge next campaign, defensive midfield is an obvious area in need of a makeover.
The Gunners (7/1 with Coral to retain the FA Cup again in 2015/16) have long been crying out for more presence in the middle of the park, and were lucky that academy product Francis Coquelin, recalled from a loan at Charlton Athletic to provide cover for injuries, stepped up and took on the role of midfield marshal.
While Coquelin has deservedly established himself as a regular in the starting XI, Arsenal still require further reinforcements, and greater experience, in his position if they are to challenge on four fronts next term.
The north Londoners (5/1 to win the 2015/16 Premier League) have been heavily linked with a swoop for Southampton’s impressive engine room option Morgan Schneiderlin, but Swansea City’s deep-lying playmaker Ki could prove to be a cheaper alternative.
A former star for Scottish juggernauts Celtic and northeast outfit Sunderland, crafty Ki has reportedly been on Wenger’s radar for some time, with his great reading of the game and precise passing making him a potentially perfect fit for the Gunners’ style.
Intelligent, tactically aware and able to split defences open with ease, the South Korea superstar could complement Coquelin’s tenacity in tougher games, and challenge the likes of injury-prone Jack Wilshere and 30-year-old schemer Santi Cazorla to pull the midfield strings.
Having added goals to his game this campaign, notching a career-best eight in the league, cultured Ki would not be out of place among Arsenal’s big-name talents.
The 74-capped Taegeuk Warrior would surely be a big miss for the Swans, however, should he depart, as the 26-year-old and midfield partner Gylfi Sigurdsson were key to the Welsh club’s record-breaking season under coach Garry Monk, with both sharing the attacking burden following Wilfried Bony’s Winter window move to Manchester City.