With Mesut Ozil’s arrival, Arsenal have an enviously strong spine; one that, if improved in January, could elevate them to a serious title challenge. And signing more Germans is the way to do this.
What Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski have given Arsenal since signing is experience, calmness and a winning mentality – all attributes the team were lacking in. Combined with Ozil, they have over 250 international caps between them, and with the supremely gifted youngsters Serge Gnabry and Gedion Zelalem set to make their breakthrough this season, learning from such players will be invaluable to their development.
Within days of the end of the summer transfer window, various reliable sources, including The Telegraph, reported Arsenal were seriously interested in Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus. Assessing the details, it seems very feasible that this transfer could take place. The forward has a €30 million release clause, which in the current market is a bargain for a player with genuine world-class potential. He also has a group of compatriots waiting for him, a German-speaking manager and the opportunity to play alongside his idol, Tomas Rosicky. In an interview with The Guardian last year, Reus, who grew up in Dortmund’s youth side, said:
“My idol was always Tomas Rosicky, he used to be phenomenal. He had such a good eye for an opening and knew where his team-mates were, and he was so quick. He had great technique and was so intelligent and mature even though he was still young at Dortmund. I copied everything about him – right down to his sweatbands. He was so unlucky he had bad injuries at Arsenal because, otherwise, he would be one of the world’s best players.”
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Not only that, but in the same interview he said this about Jack Wilshere: “A perfect player. Boy, he’s f****** good. He’s so quick and skilful with the ball at his feet.”
Some praise. Clearly, the 24 year old admires a lot at Arsenal. With his pal Ozil waxing lyrical about Wenger, saying he’d have signed “for free” just to play under his tutelage, it seemingly wouldn’t be hard to lure Reus to North London.
In my view, Reus’s acquisition would be every bit as significant as Ozil’s. It would show not just the fans, but the football world in general, that the club is not resting on its laurels after just breaking its transfer record. It would be the proverbial statement of intent if there ever was one.
A versatile player who can operate on either flank, as a number 10 or as a lone striker, simply speaking Reus would solve Arsenal’s current attacking deficiencies. With 37 goals in 99 appearances for an average Borussia Monchengladbach side, and 15 in 36 appearances for Dortmund, his goal-scoring record speaks for itself. He would add another dimension to Arsenal’s offensive play, with less reliance on target man Olivier Giroud to deliver.
Hopefully the acquisition of Ozil will set the precedent for more of the German elite to join the club, and with £50 million reportedly still in the bank, the prospect of Reus in red and white could soon become a reality.
See more from Reuben Lewis @rlewisafc