David Ornstein speaks on Arsenal ‘links’ with 27-year-old playmaker
Highly regarded journalist David Ornstein has expressed what he knows regarding the Phillipe Coutinho speculation and added that there are ‘links which are apparent’ that have seemingly made the Brazilian midfielder a target for the Gunners.
A report from Le10Sport recently claimed that Arsenal are pursuing the services of Phillipe Coutinho, who is still on the books of Barcelona after spending the season on loan at Bayern Munich.
The 27-year-old’s future at the Camp Nou remains in doubt after an underwhelming debut season for Barca following his move to Spain from Liverpool two years ago.
Speaking on speculation which has suggested that the Gunners are chasing Coutinho, reputable journalist David Ornstein stated that he had little knowledge about any potential move for the midfielder.
However, the former BBC reporter did add that key members of the Arsenal staff like Raul Sanllehi and Edu have ‘links’ with Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian, which may well be a plus for the Gunners.
“I have no information on this. I don’t know anything about it. So if it is happening, it’s beyond my knowledge.” he said, speaking in the ‘Ornstein & Chapman podcast’ for The Athletic
“That’s not to say it isn’t. It’s just that I don’t know anything about it if it is.
“We do know the links, which are apparent, between Arsenal’s Raul Sanllehi, their technical director Edu, and Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian.
“We’ve seen a number of deals already done between those parties, and that’s, in part, I’m sure, why the links have arisen.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
Looking at the current Arsenal squad, we are actually in desperate need of a playmaker. Mesut Ozil is the only out-and-out creative midfielder available, with the defensive midfield area extremely bloated. The likes of Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi all do a similar job of bringing more tenacity than craft to the pitch.
Therefore, even if Dani Ceballos – who is another box-to-box midfielder – somehow remained at the club, Mikel Arteta would still need a creative force in midfield to freshen things up. Part of the reason why Ozil receives so much criticism is due to the fact that there is hardly anyone around to share his workload of creating chances.
In this case, a player of Coutinho’s quality – who has been lauded by teammates for being a gifted playmaker wherever he has been – must be pursued at all cost by an Arsenal team which has only one recognized creative midfielder on its books.