Looking At What Franck Kessie Would Give The Arsenal Midfield

Arsenal will probably need to add more midfield options in the summer.

Longterm Gunners attacking midfielder Aaron Ramsey has already signed a pre-contract that will see the Welshman playing for Italian giants Juventus next season (Source – The Guardian).

There’s still a lot of speculation surrounding German World Cup winning midfield maestro Mesut Ozil. He might be Arsenal’s highest paid player but at times this season he’s struggled to get game time under new coach Unai Emery, who doesn’t seem to trust Mesut fully in the bigger games.

Recent reports in The Sun have linked Arsenal with a move for AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.

So why would The Gunners fancy The Ivorian?

Well there’s no doubt that the middle-man has talent.

At just twenty-two years of age, Franck has already racked up 93 appearances in Serie A. He’s also managed to feature in fifteen European games. The youngster has won twenty-five caps for the Ivory Coast national team.

The player can also grab goals, he’s found the net fifteen times in Italy’s top flight.

Kessie likes to burst forward, get into the box and have a chance at goal. He’s scored the same amount of league goals this term as Ramsey has for Arsenal. The Milan player isn’t scared of shooting from outside the box either and takes around 1.7 shots per game.

AC Milan coach and legendary Italian midfielder Gennaro Gattuso stated that Franck is a better player than he was, mainly because he can hit the back of the net on a regular basis (Via Goal.com):

“Kessie is far better than I ever was, because he has seven or eight goals in his legs per season.”

But if Arsenal are indeed seriously interested in Kessie, then I think they’ll have to change up their tactics as the Ivorian can’t be used as a direct replacement for Ramsey.

Emery could revert to a 4-3-3 formation and then play Kessie in alongside the disciplined duo of Lucas Torriera and Granit Xhaka. Out of the three, Franck Kessie would be the one tasked to go box to box and that would suit his attributes.

You could also play him in a compact diamond midfield, if Unai wanted to use either Ozil or Henrikh Mkhitaryan as a number ten.

Kessie likes to pick up the ball in deep positions and dribble it forward before passing it to the forwards, similar to Patrick Vieira when he first broke into The Gunners team back in the nineties. Franck is helped by the fact that he remains composed in tight positions and has good close control.

The Ivorian international has a strong work-ethic which is a quality in which Unai Emery likes to see in his players. The Spanish coach also likes to see his stars keeping hold of the ball and being efficient passers, according to Whoscored.com Franck Kessie has an impressive passing success rate of 88.2% in the league this term.

The player might be available at a fee of €40m as AC Milan look at trying to keep away from any FFP issues in the summer.

Franck Kessie would give Arsenal’s midfield a new dynamic force that could directly bridge a gap between the midfield and the attack.

He could help the team evolve but if The Gunners are looking for a straight replacement for Aaron Ramsey, then they shouldn’t bring in Kessie for that role. He needs to be in the engine room.

It will be very interesting to see what Unai Emery does in the next transfer window to refresh his squad and if he can get the players needed to get Arsenal back in the Premier League title picture.


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