Arsenal's Midfielder Strife As Brazil's Melo Approaches Deal

Stacey HoodContributor IJune 23, 2009

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 21:  Felipe Melo #5 of Brazil celebrates during the FIFA Confederations Cup match between Italy and Brazil at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on June 21, 2009 in Pretoria, South Africa.  (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo will join Arsenal according to respected (if there is such a thing) British Journalist, Gabriele Marcotti.  On UK sports radio station, talkSport, Marcotti claimed that Melo will join Arsenal at the end of the Confederations Cup.

After joining Fiorentina last year from Almeria, Melo has been impressive and recently been named in Brazil’s starting squad. There has been much speculation linking Melo to Inter Milan and recently the player stated that a move was out of the question.

Melo’s agent is supposedly in talks with the club and Marcotti reported a tabled offer has been accepted.  Defender Phillippe Senderos may be used as leverage as the Italian side has expressed interest in the want-away player. Senderos has stated that he wants to stay in Italy and would enjoy a stint with La Viola.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has publicly stated that he wants all transfers wrapped up and into pre-season training during July.  He added that he didn’t want to have any last minute transfers in August right before the season kicks off. 

That said, the question is now raised… what to do with the five midfielders that are on Arsenal’s roster? There’s Song, Ramsey, Denilson, Eboue, and Diaby. Wenger has stated many times that he looks for players that can immediately fit in to the Arsenal philosophy of play.

During the last few games, Song looked to improve in the defensive mid position. His lack of pace and mobility could present a problem if kept in that position however. The others left much to be desired in a lack-luster season for the Gunners.

Denilson is a Brazilian version of Arsenal’s caption, Cesc Fabregas.  While he has improved greatly, he has yet to prove that he can handle the rigors of the Premier League weekly. Eboue had a nightmare season with fans calling for him to be benched and ridiculed at each game. Ramsey, on the other hand, has not really been allowed the chance to show why he was snapped up from Cardiff City.

As the self-imposed deadline looms for the club, can Wenger show why he’s called “Le Professor” or will the growing tide of doubters prove their point and call for his dismissal at the end of the summer?