Rodrigo De Paul
Rodrigo De Paul remaining at Udinese over the summer was a genuine surprise. Leeds were heavily tracking him on their return to the top-flight, with a deal close to completion only for a disagreement of fee to halt discussions.
They’ve been tipped to move again in January, although the Argentine is a player Arsenal should be at least investigating as a potential midfield target.
Last season, for an Udinese side that finished 13th in Serie A, the 26-year-old made 8.68 progressive runs with the ball per 90, a feat only bettered by seven other players across Europe’s top five divisions.
Normally lining up on the right of a midfield three, he can attack half-spaces aggressively and play as a No. 8 in a three-man setup. It’s not uncommon for him to play as the most advanced midfielder either, although his physique and strength carrying the ball make him a better fit slightly deeper.
As Arteta wants to revert a 4-3-3 system – when he has the players capable for it – someone of De Paul’s profile is tailor-made to slot into one of those central areas. An all-action midfielder perfectly accustomed to both defensive and offensive transitions, technically astute and a fine distributor, the fact he’s coming into his prime makes him an even more enticing option.
Managing to reach such a high standard in side struggling in Italy, one can only wonder how he’d fare in an Arsenal side……doing worse. Yeah, forget that bit, but De Paul is exactly what Arsenal need.