On Tuesday night in Podgorica I was privileged to witness yet another capitulation by the English national team in a qualifying game. Yet while most people were watching the Montenegrin’s redress the balance of power in the game, I was watching 23 year old Stefan Jovetic buzz around the pitch with his usual fervour while making comparisons with Goran Pandev due to his ability to influence play coming from deep.
Admittedly Jovetic didn’t have his best game on Tuesday, however I have seen Jovetic play before a few times, most notably when he scored twice against Liverpool in the Champions League for Fiorentina. I must say, having seen him play a few times, Jovetic possesses the perfect combination of skill, pace and ability that has marked him out as one of Europe’s brightest talents and Fiorentina will surely struggle to hold on to him in the summer.
Interestingly, one of the clubs clamouring for Jovetic’s signature this summer is Arsenal who will almost certainly be looking to offload the ineffective Gervinho and could move early for the Balkan hot-shot. Jovetic certainly fits the bill as a superior replacement f or Gervinho but is he really what Arsenal needs?
I’m not an Arsenal fan (fortunately), but I do have the privilege of knowing a few and having conversed with them on the subject of replacements, they are insistent that they require a center back first and midfielder second. However, Arsenal do have cash reserves of £70 million and could easily move for a center back, quality midfielder and still pay the reported £28 million it would cost to acquire Jovetic’s services.
The issue, of course, isn’t whether Arsenal can afford to strengthen the question is where should they strengthen? Arsene Wenger has made no secret of his desire for a new goalkeeper, Per Mertesacker doesn’t have the pace required of a center back leading to persistent rumours of Ashley Williams being targeted and Arsenal are crying out for a combative midfielder in the mould of Steven Gerrard.
Should the rumours turn out to be true, Wenger is going to need to put aside £8-10 million for a solid keeper, £12-17 million for a mobile center back, £18-25 million for a tough tackling midfielder and this would be before the outlay on Jovetic. If Arsenal were to address all their frailties this summer and include the addition of Jovetic, it would take Arsenal’s summer spending spree to an estimated £65 million. Granted, the sales of Van Persie, Gervinho and the massive cash reserves Arsenal have would offset some of this cost but it’s still more than they would have EVER spent in a transfer window.
Arsenal have bigger problems in other areas on the field that take precedence at this point in time and, although they do need a forward to replace Van Persie, the cost of Jovetic right now is just too prohibitive.
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