Sunday, July 23, 2023

Arsenal: Andre could force Rice into a new role

Arsenal have already made great strides towards bridging the gap between themselves and Manchester City, yet more acquisitions could be on the way to even push them beyond the treble-winning history makers.

What is Andre’s style of play?

One such name that has been touted is Andre Trindade of Fluminense, as a tough-tackling and all-action midfield general starring in his homeland Brazil.

With a host of clubs interested as of earlier this month, the £25m price tag could put off many of the suitors below the Gunners. However, with their summer spending having already surpassed £200m, this figure represents a drop in the ocean especially if Edu is to complete his clearout.

This 22-year-old is described by Breaking The Lines as the “modern-day defensive midfielder”, with his dynamism and mobility lauded despite operating just in front of the back four. Whilst only standing at 5 foot 8, his size actually gives him the ability to shift quickly with the ball at his feet, waltzing out from the back to progress the play and create.

However, journalist Fernando Campos did suggest he was also a “monster”, to emphasise his defensive credentials.

Should Mikel Arteta take the risk to bring this midfield maestro directly from Brazil to north London, it could propose an interesting experiment to be had with his star signing from this window, Declan Rice.

What position will Declan Rice play in for Arsenal?
Having joined for a £105m fee last week, the former West Ham United captain finally ended years of speculation to make his move a reality.

However, Football Transfers still only value the England international at €57.8m (£50m), suggesting that the Gunners may have overpaid to get their man. Given his standing within David Moyes’ squad, plus his prime age and nationality, this was to be expected though.

It has already been noted how integral his acquisition was to the future success of Arteta’s squad, with his presence in their midfield said to be the catalyst that pushes them even closer to the title.

However, it is not specified where in midfield the 24-year-old might star.

Should they make a move for Andre, who has already showcased his ability as a defensive stalwart, perhaps his presence might force Rice into an alternative role, where his influence on his new team could be a more offensive one.

After all, the Brazilian maintained a 7.11 average rating in the Brasileiro Serie A, buoyed largely by his outstanding 94% pass accuracy, 1.5 interceptions and 2.3 tackles per game, via Sofascore.

Such precision when dictating the play would have ranked the youngster comfortably first within Arsenal’s squad from last season for pass completion, whilst his tackling prowess surpasses Rice’s from last year in the Premier League too.

Fortunately, the former Chelsea academy gem has begun to add some creativity to his game that suggests he could thrive besides Martin Odegaard rather than behind him, as his offensive right-footed counterpart to form the front two of the box midfield.

With his six goal contributions and one key pass per game last season in the league (via Sofascore), the foundation is in place for him to thrive. With the quality that his Norwegian captain, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and more would provide too, these figures would only be bolstered as he supplies and is in turn supplied by those stars.

Given Andre clearly has the figures to be one of the division’s best midfield metronomes, should he take to English football with ease, his emergence could allow Rice to truly showcase his technical brilliance and grow into much more than just a defensive stopper.

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