COMMENTARY | Odil Ahmedov has proclaimed that Arsenal's scouts have watched him in every game this season. The Anzhi Makhachkala midfielder has enjoyed two successful seasons at the Russian club. Ahmedov, a six foot tall defensive midfielder, has been labeled as a tough tackler with a cannon for a right foot. The Uzbek international can also play as a defender if needed.
According to Izvestia, Ahmedov stated, "It is true I have interest from Arsenal. Their scouts have watched me in every match this season. If I move there, I could be a huge success but there is no bid yet. I'm happy at Anzhi but I'd like to try England, Spain or Italy." Italian clubs Juventus and Genoa are also reportedly in the running to capture Ahmedov.
This is not the first time Ahmedov has claimed that Arsenal have sent scouts to watch him play. Oddly enough the midfielder is believed to have given RIA Novosti almost the exact same quotes back in 2011. Nevertheless, a move for Ahmedov never came from Arsenal, and the Uzbek moved to Anzhi Makhachkala in 2011 from Pakhtakor Tashkent.
Whether or not mutual interest between Arsenal and Ahmedov is sincere, made up by the player, or just a misunderstanding from Izvestia remains to be seen. However, the reported price tag of around £5 million for Ahmedov would appear to suit the Gunners. Although it has been reported that Arsenal has £70 million to spend this summer, it seems as if many Arsenal fans are leery of these reports.
Other defensive midfielders reportedly being linked to Arsenal include Victor Wanyama, Maxime Gonalons, Etienne Capoue, Marouane Fellaini, and Lars Bender. Ahmedov would appear to cost around half as much as Wanyama, Gonalons, or Capoue, and significantly less than either Fellaini or Bender. Arsenal is in a definite need of a defensive midfielder this summer, and while Ahmedov is a solid player, the other five aforementioned players seem to be a bit more talented at this point in their respective careers.
One would imagine that Gunner fans would love see their manager, Arsène Wenger, spend money this summer and sign Wanyama, Gonalons, Capoue, Fellaini, or Bender. Signing any one of these midfielders would be a step in the right direction for the Gunners. However, whether or not Wenger will be willing to spend a significant amount of money on a defensive midfielder this summer has yet to be determined. Nevertheless, the Gunners need to strengthen their side if they want to compete for trophies next season.
Christopher Moore has been following Arsenal Football Club for over 10 years.
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- Anzhi Makhachkala
- Odil Ahmedov