Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon have agreed on a fee for Portuguese international, William Carvalho [O Jogo]. The 22 year-old holding midfielder will cost Arsenal around £30million. Formerly being linked to Chelsea and Manchester United, William is an exciting player that will provide quality minutes for Arsène Wenger for years to come. United supporters believed that William was the long-term replacement for current holding midfielder, Michael Carrick, while Chelsea supporters hoped that he would be the quality backup for Nemanja Matić. Chelsea have longed for a backup that can fill Matić’s role when he is unavailable.
Some Gunner supporters are dubbing this signing as irrelevant, with the rise in form of Francis Coquelin. Coquelin’s form has been parallel to the recent run of 11 wins in a row for Arsenal, playing a key part in controlling the midfield. When Arsenal took on Manchester City earlier in the season, Coquelin totally dominated the midfield, controlling possession and keeping Yaya Touré in his pocket for the whole match. A midfield consisting of Coquelin and William would be scary for Arsenal’s opponents for years to come. Coquelin being only 23 years of age, and William only 22, Arsenal would have a bright future ahead of them.
Arsenal’s new, rejuvenated midfield would be especially scary for Chelsea, who wins their matches through brute strength in the midfield through Serbian midfielder, Nemanja Matić. Matić has an 81% take-on rate, and completes 86% of his passes, both crazy numbers for a holding midfielder. Mourinho probably finds it excessive to pay £30million for a player that won’t see the pitch as a first team player even ten times in a Chelsea kit. Mourinho and William reportedly have a good relationship, both being Portuguese, and if Mourinho really wants to, I’m sure he could find the money to fund the move, and then convince William to come to Stamford Bridge. If Chelsea was to sign him, it wouldn’t be to fill any needs at Chelsea; it would be to keep him from playing for Arsène Wenger.
Chelsea supporters should not be worried about Arsenal’s new midfield duo as long as Nemanja Matić is still in West-London.