Video Evidence: Ever Banega (Arsenal)

Melo, Cana and Matuidi. It seems that every time a defensive midfielder is mentioned in the papers as being available Arsenal are automatically linked as potential suitors.

One has to start to feel a little sorry for Denilson, Abou Diaby and Alexander Song, who are constantly thumbed over by both Arsenal fans and the fifth estate as just not good enough to play week in, week out alongside Cesc Fabregas.

That said, another day and another midfielder has been linked with the North London club, with reports breaking out of Argentina claiming that Arsene Wenger is interested in acquiring Valencia’s Ever Banega for £5 million.

The 21-year-old began his career with the powerhouse of Argentinean football Boca Juniors. He made his debut at 18 and only made 28 appearances before he was whisked off to Valencia by Ronald Koeman for a whopping €18 million in 2006.

Unfortunately for Banega he arrived at a tumultuous time at Los Che. With the club’s financial situation deteriorating and a huge price tag he was expected to deliver. As a young player the burden of expectation was too much and his performances were substandard.

Koeman’s dismissal resulted in the Argentinean making a paltry 12 appearances with only 7 starts and, after just one season, he was loaned to Atletico Madrid. He fared slightly better at his new club making 24 appearances and scoring 1 goal, although for all but 5 games he started on the bench.

At 5ft 8inches he is no Patrick Vieira, nor does he possess an engine like Flamini. Instead he sits in front of the back four utilising his excellent reading of the game to break up play and make interceptions. Although not known as a ferocious tackler he is not scared to show his studs and he has picked up 14 bookings and 3 reds in his career to date.

He is technically gifted and has quick feet which enable him to dance away from tricky situations, although he has a horrible habit of over-endulging on the edge of his 18-yard box or on the halfway-line. He passing ability is also excellent, and can find a team mate with pinpoint accuracy.

On the downside, as with many foreigners Banega is known for being a theatrical diver.

Scandal too has followed the player. Just after he signed for Valencia a video was released on the internet of the footballer pleasuring himself, and the midfielder has also been caught driving whilst over the limit during his time in Spain.

His international career has yet to take-off and he has made only three appearances for the national team, which is unsurprising considering that is competing with Argentina’s captain Mascherano for a starting berth.

However, he is part of a new crop of exciting youngsters who have won the Under-20 World Cup in 2007 and Olympic Gold in 2008.

Available at a reported £5 million this is a player who is definitely worth buying. Will he solve Arsenal’s defensive problems? Probably not, but he is much better than the plethora of youngsters that Wenger has at his current disposal and could turn out to be an inspired purchase in the long run.

With Wenger having limited funds at his disposal this is an acquisition that could happen. However, the club needs a boost and the fans are looking for a beast to dominate the midfield and provide Fabregas the freedom to create goal scoring opportunities. Unfortunately Banegra will not provide this.

Video evidence of Ever Banega can be seen here.