There are stories in the media about Arsenal having made enquiries to Benfica about the Paraguayan international defender Lorenzo Antonio Melgarejo Sanabria. I will call him Melgarejo for the rest of this article, but what concerns me more than the length of his name is that he is the second left back that has been linked with a possible summer transfer to Arsenal in the last week.
We heard about a possible move for Alaba from Bayern Munich and now this 22-year old from Benfica, Surely, with Kieran Gibbs, Nacho Monreal and Thomas Vermaelen as emergency cover, left back is one of our strongest positions. Is there a problem that we don’t know about?
Monreal is currently on international duty with Spain for the Confederations Cup which kicks off tomorrow. He played in a friendly for them the other day, so there is no problem with injury for him. He may have had a couple of tough games for Arsenal since joining on deadline day of the January transfer window, but that is no surprise. In general he looked good and I expect him to offer a strong challenge to Gibbs next season.
Monreal is 27-years old and Gibbs is 23, so there is no problem with them getting too old anytime soon. The news about interest from the Gunners has come from the agent of Melgarejo, so he could just be trying to drum up some interest. We know only too well that other clubs suddenly become interested when we are linked with someone.
“Arsenal and Fenerbahce have enquired about Melgarejo, but so far there has been nothing concrete,” said Juan Gabriel Appleyard.
The other possibility is that Arsene Wenger wants somebody to play in a more advanced role on the left. Melgarejo has played further forward, especially in his loan spells away from Benfica. He scored 10 goals from 29 games playing for Pacos de Ferreira. From the current Arsenal left backs, Gibbs is the one most likely to play further up the pitch. He linked very well with Podolski and has a good cross on him, as well as an eye for goal. Do you think Wenger could convert him into a winger?