Paul Pogba to replace Mikel Arteta at Arsenal in the summer? Five candidates for Arsene Wenger to consider

Mikel Arteta

As many Arsenal fans continue emphasise the below par performances of Mikel Arteta over the past few months, I thought I’d analyse some of the players that could replace him as a defensive midfielder.

It was a blessing in disguise when he signed for Arsenal back in 2011 having enjoyed playing such a critical role in that season, he has been slightly rocky this season and his boat is slowly sinking at Arsenal.

5. Ilkay Gündôgan 

Ilkay Gündôgan

The German prodigy has had a prolonged period on the sidelines this season but has sure caught the eye of Europe’s elite clubs.

Following a successful campaign with Borussia Dortmund in 2012/13 season en route to the Champions League final, the German has been eyed up as a suitable replacement for Arteta by Arsenal.

With three first-team Germans at Arsenal already, it many cushion the settling in period. He is your perfect box to box midfield player, he can pass, shoot, run and pulls the strings in midfield. Strengthening is one thing but adequately is another, Gündôgan is a player who controls the game and dictates the tempo from the back, who looks to move things forward quickly which is something Arteta lacks. He is slow on the ball, has no pace or willingness to get the ball back and lacks desire. Ilkay Gündôgan would cost around £20m and would give everything Arteta lacks.

Is this possibly the best replacement?

4. Jorginho


The Napoli midfield man has caught the eye since his €8m move from Hellas Verona. Jorginho took a while to get use to the surroundings in Italy as he spent a season in loan at Sambonifacese in Serie C before returning to Verona.

It is rumoured that Arsenal have already held talks over a possible move to the Emirates. Jorginho is a player of many qualities; he can hold the ball well and protect the defence from being a victim of a counter-attack. The best of his attributes include his passing which is exquisite. He tends to pull the strings and make things happen from deep. His penalties are also immaculate and his dribbling is superb too.

He is one of your typical Brazilians whose dribbling is incredibly neat and tidy. Jorginho is a player that Arsenal have already earmarked as a replacement for Arteta and being such a young and fresh talent, could he be the most significant replacement?

3. Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba

The French anchorman has been subject of comparisons to former Arsenal midfielder and World Cup winner Patrick Vieira following a successful season with Juventus in Serie A.

The 21 year-old Frenchman joined Juventus from Manchester United in 2012 after a dismal spell at the Red Devils. He has been heavily linked with boyhood club and French Champions Paris Saint-Germain after it was rumoured that the Qatari owners wanted to buy a possible future French captain and a €60m fee is considered to be on the table.

Slowly, I’m sure somewhere Sir Alex Ferguson is feeling the pain of regret for selling the big midfield man to the Italian side. The best of his attributes include his vision, passing and shooting, which he has expressed during his season at the ‘vecchia signora’ scoring eight times and contributing to eight more goals in 44 appearances. Pogba has cemented his place in the team playing in a defensive midfield role just behind Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal.

His exceptional midfield play allows Vidal and Pirlo to patrol just in behind the attack and Pogba is definitely employed as an anchor, giving him a lot more space to protect the defence.

Pogba is a very special talent and will become one of the best midfielders in the world in my opinion. But could the big price tag thwart Arsenal’s chances of signing the bulky Frenchman?

2. Lars Bender

Lars Bender

Lars Bender has proved to be a top defensive midfield player this season and could be a top shout in Germany’s World Cup squad as well as a feasible and adequately appropriate acquisition than his brother Sven.

Probably the most predominant Bayer Leverkusen player, Bender is a typically exceptional box-to-box midfielder the German but has only scored twice in his 25 Bundesliga games this season. Bender has an average passing accuracy of 77% and an average passing range of 18m as well as the second highest tackle rate in the Champions League.

Arsène Wenger has kept faith with Arteta, although Lars Bender has been on the Frenchman’s radar for a long time now, and a €19m bid for him was rejected by the German side last summer.

Why should Arsenal sign him? Arsenal have a strong midfield but they lack an enforcer who can keep opposing players at bay when being subject to a counter-attack, it will be an easier attraction with Champions League football and three fellow Germans already at the Emirates. Finding a player capably adequate to fill this void will be a factor of technical research. Would signing him be a perfect ‘Arsenal’ player?

1. Morgan Schneiderlin


The Southampton midfielder has solidified his place in the Saints’ squad and has represented France at under-21 level. Schneiderlin, who joined Southampton from French side Strasbourg in the summer of 2008 for a fee of £1.2m, has made over 190 appearances for the South Coast club and been a critical part of their team this year.

Playing in the pivot role to protect the defence, Schneiderlin has averaged a passing accuracy of 89% – more than any other Southampton player. He’s made 31 appearances this season, scoring twice as well as making 29 chances for his team-mates.

Arsenal have been scouting him for some time now and speculation is growing that Wenger could be ready to lodge a bid for his compatriot. Schneiderlin has previously told media that he’d love a move to a big club and is valued at £15m by Southampton.

Agreeing a deal would be tricky as Southampton are known to be tough negotiators. Why should Arsenal sign him? I’ve said before, Arsenal have a strong midfield but they lack a desired but calm body to steady and balance things out.

Having already told French press that he’d relish a switch to a bigger outfit, and with Arteta slowly becoming a lot slower, Schneiderlin would fill his void perfectly. With him being not as highly-rated as some of the above, could the Gunners snap him up for a bargain?

Alex Burns

13 Responses to Paul Pogba to replace Mikel Arteta at Arsenal in the summer? Five candidates for Arsene Wenger to consider

  1. poznaninmypants April 21, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    “Arteta…He is slow on the ball, has no pace or willingness to get the ball back and lacks desire.”


    • Alex Burns April 21, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      he does? Against Everton and Chelsea he cost is bigtime

  2. Shaz April 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    Pogba left on a free, after his contract expired. Not because fergie sold him. It’s a well documented fact that fergie wanted him to stay but couldn’t guarantee first team football. A simple Google search would have revealed this. Lazy work.

    • Alex Burns April 21, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

      Well if it’s that bad then why don’t you do a ‘simple google search’

  3. bob April 21, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    I think all five have all got there good bad and ugly bits but knowing Arsenal i think we should have two more to your list(1)Kim kallson(poor spelling)(2)Gareth Barry he has the best chance as he is an ideal candidate why? Because he a free agent!

    • Alex Burns April 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      I’d have to disagree there,Kim Källström is ageing as is Gareth Barry. We need someone younger but still experienced

      • Little-Matt April 22, 2014 at 10:05 am #

        I think he is implying that our choices are limited as Arsene won’t spend any money.

  4. Horsen April 21, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    Nice post. But i will prefer any of bender or pogba. Gunners for life

    • Alex Burns April 21, 2014 at 8:47 pm #


  5. Bal44 April 21, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    Gündogan – no chance.
    Last week extended his contract until 2016.
    Pogba – no chance.
    Extremely expensive + Juve won’t sell.
    Schneiderlin,Jorginho,Bender – possible
    Saints midfielder is most likely.

  6. Livi B April 22, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    If you’re not a fan of Arteta, you just don’t understand football.

    He is the first name on the team sheet and captain for a good reason.

    He sacrifices for the team so the others can show pony.

    He links play like fabrigas/scholes/gerrad/zavi.

    Look at results when he is not playing!!

    Please stop trying to destroy the confidence of our own players.
    FFS support……….. COYG.

  7. WC April 22, 2014 at 1:44 am #

    I’m not sure you actually know who Jorghino is as you’d know he’s not a CM but more of an attacking mid

  8. RhinoVI April 24, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    Nice post, Alex. Keep up the good work.

    Think we all have come accustom of having a soft spot for Arteta, but completely agree his ship is rapidly sinking. He’s lack of pace leaves us worryingly vulnerable on the counter and he only shows some fight with 5 minutes left on the clock & it’s usually already too late.

    Pogba would be the perfect replacement, but feel we will take up a big interest in Schneiderlin this summer.
    Any of the above five would be very good acquisitions to the squad though.

    Rhino OUT

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