Arsenal: The Ever Banega Option

New Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been heavily linked with Argentine international Ever Banega, a player Emery knows well from their time together at Sevilla.

Banega has been one of a very few that have actually impressed for Argentina at this summer’s World Cup. 

He gave a majestic performance as he helped his nation to claim a victory over Nigeria, providing a superb assist for Lionel Messi. It was amazing to see Messi play with much more freedom as he has a player like Ever playing behind him and knowing the midfield star could find him with a key pass.

The twenty-nine year old can play as a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder or he could be deployed as a deep-laying playmaker.

It’s thought that the Gunners are on the lookout for more midfield options with Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla both departing the Emirates in this off-season. Banega would offer Emery an experienced head, versatility in the middle of the park and he’s a player that the new Gunners gaffer already trusts.

The midfield dynamo also has plenty of European experience having played for Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and Sevilla, where he’s excelled.

During the World Cup, Ever has had an 87% passing success rate and that’s very similar to the numbers he had in La Liga and the Champions League. He’s very tidy and composed when he’s got the ball at his feet. Going back to the Messi goal against Nigeria and it showed you that the Sevilla star has great vision and technique.

In total Banega scored five times and created six assists for teammates. He made around 2.1 key passes per La Liga outing and made roughly 2.7 dribbles.

The midfield man is also decent when in the tackle, last term he was averaging 2.3 tackles per game in the Spanish top flight.

Another top quality that Ever Banega has is finding gaps and paying in-between the lines. That’s no doubt because of his ability to play anywhere centrally, he spots the space and moves into it. That in turn makes him harder to pick up for opposition players, thus giving Banega more time to dictate the game’s pace and rhythm.

You’d imagine that forward’s like Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would love having a talented spotter and passer like Ever playing deep in the Arsenal midfield and supplying them with plenty of ammunition.

Ever Banega struggled with the demands of professional football and that saw him getting into some trouble, notably he broke his leg in two places because he forgot to put the handbrake on in his car during a visit to the petrol station. But the Argentine international has matured and grasped his second chance at football, which shows he’s also a determined character.

Banega would offer Arsenal more creativity from the middle of the park, something they’ll miss without Cazorla in the squad next season.

Arsenal fans might be wanting to see their club going for a star name and maybe Banega doesn’t fit that bill. But he could be a cult hero if he performs to his best if given his chance at the Emirates.

For those doubting Banega’s qualities, I’ll leave you with the words of an excellent character witness… The one and only Lionel Messi:

“It’s a pleasure to play alongside Ever Banega. He helps you so that everything becomes easier.”

2 Responses to “Arsenal: The Ever Banega Option”

  1. Banega’s style and quality is exactly what the Gunners need.

  2. Banega playing as a CM is exactly who we need at Arsenal and then we go for Kovacic.

    Only problem with that line up, Ramsey and XHAKA wouldn’t get playing time so, let’s work with what we have and if they don’t put a shift in then maybe make the changes.

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