Former Gunner Perry Groves has suggested that Arsenal could swap Mesut Özil for Adrien Rabiot in the January transfer window, as speculation around the German’s future increases.
The speculation surrounding Özil’s future hit an all-time high this week after the German was left out of Arsenal’s squad to face Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. Unai Emery insisted afterwards that this wasn’t to do with the playmaker’s recent injury, but it was just a ‘tactical decision’.
Since then, the English papers have gone into overdrive, with The Times reporting that Arsenal are ready to sell or loan Özil, the Daily Mail claiming Emery is running out of patience with the star, The S*n claiming the Gunners have already set a £30m price tag to offload the German, and so on.
However, Perry Groves has an alternative solution. He suggested on talkSPORT that Arsenal could replace the midfielder with one of Unai Emery’s former players, Adrien Rabiot, whose contract expires at the end of the season.
“As a footballer, I’m a big fan of Mesut Ozil’s, because sometimes when you watch him play for Arsenal – and it is sometimes – he does things that he makes look ridiculously easy,” Groves said. “But obviously Unai Emery now just doesn’t fancy him. I think he’s just got fed up with him now.
“I think PSG could be an option for him. One, they can pay his wages, but two, they’ve got the lad Adrien Rabiot. Emery likes him because he plays in the ten role but also works hard.
“He’s at an impasse with PSG at the moment because he won’t a sign a new contract and he can talk to clubs on January 1. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a little swap deal on the cards.”
Groves’ comment about Rabiot playing as a ten is a bit wide of the mark. The PSG man more regularly plays as a box-to-box midfielder or a defensive midfielder. That might actually make him a better fit for Emery’s side though. The Spaniard has often used formations without space for a number ten.
Rabiot probably played his best football under Emery at PSG, but the rumours suggested they never really got along. We’ll have to wait and see if there’s any interest from either side in January.