Noel Whelan, a former striker for Leeds United, thinks that Arsenal should think about signing Tomas Soucek, a midfielder now playing for West Ham United, this summer.
Following a dismal conclusion to their 2021-22 season, the Gunners will almost surely be aiming to improve the depth of their team. Even though they were in an excellent position to qualify for the UEFA Champions League the following year, they ultimately finished fifth in the Premier League standings. They were eliminated from the FA Cup and EFL Cup semifinals, respectively. Additionally, they were eliminated from the EFL Cup.
Mikel Arteta’s team hasn’t been mentioned in connection with Soucek. But, there are rumors that his future at West Ham is uncertain. After contract discussions came to a stalemate, it was recently reported by Football Insider that the Hammers might be open to bids for the 27-year-old player. Manchester United is one of the teams that are interested.
What did Noel Whelan say?
Whelan, who won the FA Youth Cup with Leeds, believes that United may take a different path under Erik ten Hag’s management. He said the following to Football Insider:
“During that time, Manchester United was led by a different manager. Ten Hag may have a different point of view. [Donny] Van de Beek will undoubtedly be returning for the next season. That role may very well be his Soucek.”
The 47-year-old also claimed that Soucek may be a suitable addition to Arsenal. His playing style is comparable to that of Patrick Vieira, a former player for the Gunners.
“In what direction would Soucek travel? Would he be able to play for Arsenal, similar to how Xhaka does for that team? That is not out of the question. He reminds me a little bit of Patrick Vieira. Doesn’t he have that kind of style? Because of his exceptional skill with his height, Soucek can completely control the middle. He surges forward and moves into advantageous positions within the box. He has the energy to go up and down the field.”
In conclusion, Whelan said:
“That may be something that they look at as something that might be an enhancement to what they already have in that midfield, you could say.”
At present, Arsenal does not have enough experience in the midfield positions
The current roster of Arsenal has a strong collection of players that play the midfield position. Granit Xhaka seemed to be a more collected presence after the season, in addition to Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey. Both of them excelled this year while they were fit. Additionally, Mohammed Elneny proved to be a useful backup option for the team.
Despite this, the Gunners still need experienced players in their midfield. This is particularly considering Partey’s history of recurring injuries. Since Albert Sambi Lokonga is still learning his craft, he has not been able to adequately fill the vacuum created by the Ghanaian when it has been necessary. Elneny had a successful stretch towards the end of the season. But he is not the answer to Arsenal’s problem.
The addition of a talent like Soucek would unquestionably make their team stronger. Since joining West Ham in 2020, the Czech player has now racked up 105 appearances for the club across all competitions. He was an integral part of their run to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League in the 2021-22 season. He helped them achieve this by securing a spot for them in the UEFA Europa League in the 2020-21 season.