How much is the Premier League title worth? £20 million seems like a bargain. That’s the rumoured asking price for Stevan Jovetic, and Arsene Wenger would be wise to make the move.
Wenger doesn’t like to spend money in January, that much has been established over the years. However, The Daily Express reported that the Gunners boss is readying a bid for the 23-year-old Jovetic, prising him from Fiorentina in the process.
It’s all rumour, obviously—the Italian side maintain they have no intention of selling, and Arsenal fans are probably loath to raise their expectations in another transfer window—but the addition of Jovetic really would make the club a daunting opponent.
The current problem with the team is that it’s impossible to tell which Arsenal will show up from week to week. Will it be the one that blew West Ham away, or the one that barely scraped a draw at Southampton?
Opposing teams just aren’t scared of them anymore, which blunts their attack from the outset.
Consistency is the key to any title campaign, and Arsenal just don’t have it right now. Adding Jovetic to the roster gives Wenger that extra option and adds a creative spark to a team that has often lacked cohesion and energy.
The young forward is capable of producing something out of nothing, breezing past defenders and finding the target. The confidence he has in his ability has been unwavering, even after a cruciate ligament injury that required two operations and caused him to miss the 2010/11 season.
With Theo Walcott signing a new contract, the prospect of him teaming up with Jovetic is an exciting one. Jovetic is capable of playing behind the striker and adding an extra burst from midfield, while Walcott has the pace to keep up with him and finish the move.
The blowouts of West Ham and Newcastle showed that the team has the firepower to win the league, but sometimes lack the ideas.
Jovetic would give the side a balance and adaptability that would see them dominate teams on a regular basis, forging a strong attack that would compete for the title every year.
While it may seem excessive to spend big on an unproven player, the EPL is a league in which playmakers can flourish. Cristiano Ronaldo, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Arsenal’s own Jack Wishere have all prospered in a league that is still renowned for its physicality over creativity.
Jovetic would release the pressure on Wenger and the Arsenal rotation, which currently looks a little thin at key positions. Resting players is as important as selecting them, and having a player like Jovetic would galvanise the whole squad.
He’s already shown he can carry an entire team on his back at a young age, so surrounding him with the talent Arsenal have would only see him develop at an even faster rate.
As good as he is now, he’ll be better in two years. While it remains an uncertain move, bringing Jovetic to the Emirates would be a big statement from Wenger that outlines his ambitions for more Premier League titles.
Financial stability and conservatism has its place, and it’s true that the January transfer window often results in panic-bidding more suited to an online auction than a football transfer fee.
However, it reaches a point where the manager’s aspirations and commitment to success are in doubt, which in turn stirs the rumour pot and The Sack Race odds start to shrink.
Wenger is approaching that point, and the team is too inconsistent to be counted as serious title contenders.
Signing Jovetic would go a long way toward easing those concerns, as well as re-establishing Arsenal as a Premier League force for years to come.