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Arsenal would be wise to steer clear of Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry
Last Wednesday, The Sun linked Manchester City and England midfielder Gareth Barry with Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has apparently targeted the 32 year old, who has a year left to run on his £100,000 a week deal at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal would not have to match the wages that Barry is getting in Manchester, nor would they necessarily see him as a regular starter. But The Sun believe that Arsenal could offer the holding midfielder a two year deal on lower terms, which may be of interest to the former Aston Villa man.
Arsenal are in the market for a holding midfielder after the departure of Alex Song to Barcelona last summer, and have activated the release clause of Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, according to Goal.
However, with a transfer fee mounting up to £24million, and weekly wages of £90,000 - Fellaini will be an expensive acquisition for Arsene Wenger and the club.
Gareth Barry on the other hand, would not.
The Daily Mail believe that Arsenal could complete the signing of Barry at a cut-price of £3.5million.
And it is not the first time Arsene Wenger has attempted to lure Barry, who was been subject to interest from the London club ahead of his move from Aston Villa to Manchester City four years ago.
A former England captain, Barry would bring an experienced, winning mentality to the Arsenal midfield. The 32 year old Premier League winner is approaching his 17th season of top flight English football, and would be an experienced head among the Arsenal youngsters.
According to WhoScored.com, Gareth Barry had a pass success rate of 86.3% from 27 appearances in the Premier League last season. His strengths are in passing, and ariel duels, whilst – albeit laughably – they list that Barry has no weaknesses.
From the statistics provided, it seems that Barry would fit well into the quick, intricate passing football that Arsene Wenger has developed over the years at Arsenal.
However, Arsenal already have Mikel Arteta at the club who excelled in a holding midfield role last season.
Going back to WhoScored.com, we can see that Mikel Arteta averaged over 80 passes a game, with an emphatic 91.5% success rate. Partner this with 3.2 tackles per game and 2.9 interceptions, Arteta quickly becomes a hugely superior player.
With the departure of Roberto Mancini and the summer signing of Fernandinho, Barry could perhaps become a peripheral figure in the Manchester City set up.
A new club may be beckoning on the horizon for England's former captain, and whilst he may have been deemed surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium, his services are certainly not needed at The Emirates.
However, for the small minority of you Arsenal fans who would be interested in Barry signing this summer, I've put together an image of the City man in last season's kit. Enjoy.
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