Why Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo would be a good signing for Arsenal

The Brazilian can fill the gap left by Alex Song and has qualities which Arsène Wenger will welcome with open arms

When Luiz Gustavo joined FC Bayern from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in January 2011, part of the deal was the six month loan of a promising young Austrian named David Alaba in the other direction.

While Gustavo arrived in Munich just in time to experience the messy collapse of the Louis van Gaal era, Alaba refined his trade in the often unloved blue of Hoffenheim.

Gustavo, who had arguably been Hoffenheim's finest player in the first half of that season, was supposed to be making the big time, while Alaba was just setting out on the long road to a regular first team place at FC Bayern. As it transpired, however, Alaba returned to make the left back position his own, while Gustavo has spent the last two and a half years as rarely more than a joker and a gap filler.

That is not to say that there is a particularly significant gulf in quality between Luiz Gustavo and David Alaba. Rather, Gustavo had the misfortune to play in a position in which Bayern were to become impressively well equipped, while Alaba adapted himself to fit the left back role which had become such a problem under van Gaal.

For Gustavo, there has always been a Mark van Bommel, a Basti Schweinsteiger or a Javi Martínez to fight past in the pecking order. It is a problem which, should the alleged £14m move to Arsenal be realised, he would experience a little less in North London.

For while breathing space may be a rarity in Bayern's midfield, there is no doubting Gustavo's quality. There is a reason he has begun to cement a place in the Brazilian first eleven, if not in Bayern's. For Arsenal, moreover, he would go as far to filling the gap left by Alex Song as one could imagine of any player at the moment. An accomplished midfielder with a vicious shot, he remains a little more defensively minded than the likes of Wilshere or Ramsey, and could make the position the Germans call the Sechser his own at the Emirates.

Indeed, should negotiations be as far as reports suggest, there is little reason to believe Gustavo would not move to Arsenal given the chance. Occasionally mistake prone but largely exciting, he rather fits the bill as a modern Gunner, and after two and half years, the place in Bayern's starting eleven now looks further away than ever. Pep Guardiola has reverted to playing with a single defensive midfielder, with Schweinsteiger, Martínez and now Thiago the main competitors. It is one of Bayern's worst kept secrets that Gustavo is one of three players who do not feature in the new manager's plans at all.

While his talents may have run their course at Bayern, though, Gustavo has qualities which Arsène Wenger will welcome with open arms. Throughout his stay a Bayern, he has resolutely fought for his place among slightly superior players, been flexible enough to play in several positions, and until now never given up on the fight for his place. Such resilience is perhaps what has drawn Wenger's eye.

Let us be clear, Luiz Gustavo has had little more than a fleeting influence on Bayern's success in recent years, and he would not revolutionise Arsenal's midfield. But he remains much more than the useful part time player he appears to be in Munich. A move to North London may just give him the chance to show that.

News
people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?