Cheick Tioté has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates, since anchor man Alex Song traded life in North London for Barcelona in a deal believed to be worth £15 million. Tioté will always be remembered for his stunning left footed volley for Newcastle against the Gunners in their 4-4 draw, which saw Arsenal let a 4 goal lead slip, in February 2011. There is much, much more though to the defensive midfielder’s game.
Last season, we all know that the Arsenal defence was shaky and vulnerable, constantly making comedy errors. Alex Song helped protect the ever changing Arsenal back four last season, which helped them to a majestic 3rd place finish after a somewhat patchy start.
Arsenal need to replace Song, as he was an influential figure for the Gunners and is extremely underrated, if they don’t, then they could really struggle defensively. Before the 2012/13 season. Many pundits labeled Song as the key man if they were to succeed, as Song was the player who broke up play, but contributed in attacks, too. Tioté is a similar player to Song, in the respect of a tough tacking brand of midfielder.
However, Arsene Wenger will have to realise that, due to Tioté’s position, Cheick will be suspended now and again. Tioté has a proven track record of getting booked once every two games since joining the Toons, but I don’t think Wenger will tolerate this, so he will have to be extremely careful when and if playing for Arsenal. It is believed that Arsenal will place a bid of around £15 million within the next week, and that is an incredibly cheap deal for someone of Titoé’s quality- I wouldn’t be surprised if Newcastle boss Alan Pardew rejected the bid.
Tioté is one of those players where he could fit into virtually any side, and he will be perfect protection for the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Johan Djourou, Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs, not to forget the error stricken and somewhat unreliable Wojciech Szczęsny.
Speculation has also been going all through the summer regarding Rennes defensive midfielder Yann M’Villa, who is an alternative to Tioté, at a much lower price, rumoured to be £10 million.
I feel, however, Tioté will work wonders at Arsenal, as their midfield is a bit weak with Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey, although they have just signed Santi Cazorla with Jack Wilshere making a return late October. Arsenal need to replace Song to keep up with their rivals.
Written by Adam May
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