GOOD DEAL: Edu could sign Arsenal their own Bruno Guimaraes in “magic” £35k-p/w “phenomenon”

Arsenal’s midfield has taken many by surprise this season, with their imperious displays in the engine room proving vital in their unlikely charge for the Premier League title.

Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey both stepped up massively for Mikel Arteta, but still crumbled at the key moments when they were needed most. The last five fixtures have seen their Ghanaian general only surpass his average Sofascore rating on one occasion, whilst the former inches ever closer to an Emirates exit.

It is a sad way to break up this fine pairing but offers opportunities for fresh and hungry alternatives to step up.

Given the vacancy they are set to endure in the heart of midfield, it makes the Gunners’ failed attempt to sign Bruno Guimaraes all the more frustrating, given how he is thriving of late for Newcastle United.

A calm and combative presence just in front of the back four, the Brazilian has been instrumental in Eddie Howe’s side mounting an unprecedented push for Champions League football.

However, with Youri Tielemans’ contract dwindling, and Leicester City seemingly set to succumb to the drop, perhaps Arteta could compound the Foxes’ misery by plucking the metronomic Belgian to thrive in his new-look midfield, given their interest in the past.

How good is Youri Tielemans?

With the 26-year-old’s £35k-per-week deal set for expiry this summer, and Arsenal’s longstanding interest in the former AS Monaco star, Edu will be delighted that such an opportunity has presented itself at their moment of need.

Without having to spend a penny the Brazilian could now secure an alternative to Guimaraes, as someone willing to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and create from deep.

After all, he has showcased his class in England across multiple seasons, the apex of which arguably came during his debut campaign. His 7.25 rating was underpinned by three goals, four assists and 1.3 key passes per game.

However, even during this relegation-threatened season, the quality of the experienced gem has shone through. His 7.03 average rating is only bettered by James Maddison amongst his teammates, which also includes 2.2 tackles per game, via Sofascore.

Given his humble beginnings, as a terrific teenager at Anderlecht, a former player expected big things from their midfield maestro – Par Zetterberg branded Tielemans “a phenomenon,” noting that “there are not many players better than him.”

However, is it the “magic” that CBS Sports’ Aaron West noted that would truly make him an exceptional asset for Arteta to have, given that Guimaraes has too been lauded for his magical qualities by his home support.

His 1.3 key passes and 2.3 tackles per 90 this season are similarly indicative of a front-foot and workmanlike midfielder, with the comparison only strengthened by his presence on Tieleman’s FBref similar players model.

Edu might have accidentally masterminded a truly outstanding transfer coup here, by missing out on one target only to claim another just like him for free.

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