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Four reasons why Pellegrini is a better fit for Arsenal than Ozil

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Arsenal could be in search of a creative midfielder this summer as Mikel Arteta looks to put his stamp on the club in his first summer transfer window.

The club are likely to cut considerable costs from the wage bill, with speculation over the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Özil potentially leaving the Emirates Stadium. The pair are currently contracted to the club until 2021 and would be available on free transfers next summer.

A potential replacement for playmaker Özil is AS Roma creator Lorenzo Pellegrini. The 23-year-old has been with the Italian side since 2017 and has registered 15 assists in Serie A over the same period, according to WhoScored.

Eight of those have come this season, where he has been employed in a more advanced No. 10 role, playing closer to central striker Edin Džeko. In between the defensive and midfield lines of opposition sides is where he operates best, being utilised for wall passes and short, sharp give-and-go combinations.

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In roughly the same number of league minutes this season, Pellegrini has created 15 more chances than Özil, as per WhoScored figures. Like Özil, Pellegrini possesses great vision and a superb range of passing, suggesting he would be a good fit at the club who have enjoyed much ball dominance this season.

He is one of Roma’s more versatile players too, capable of functioning in a deeper No. 8 role alongside a more defensive-minded midfielder, as well as the No. 10 position he has featured in this year.

Similarly, at the Under-21 European Championships last summer, Pellegrini played wider off a main striker in a 4-3-3 formation. His versatility would offer Arteta a creative outlet in a number of areas.

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The Italian international is one of many exciting young midfielders at national team boss Roberto Mancini’s disposal. Ahead of the European Championships next summer, Pellegrini could put himself in pole position for selection by testing himself in the Premier League.

His contract with Roma expires in 2022, but the club have reportedly agreed terms with another midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura, according to Football Italia. This comes after news that Roma are in financial difficulty, with debts of up to £250 million.

It means Roma could find themselves needing to offload their best assets this summer, one of which is 23-year-old Pellegrini. If Arteta was looking to pick up one of Europe’s most potent and versatile creators for lower than market value, there are few better options than Pellegrini at present.




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