Arsenal have recently been linked with a move for Dejan Kulusevski, with the Sweden international’s struggles to cement a place in the Juventus starting XI looking to set to continue this season.
Kulusevski has featured in all but one of Juve’s 12 Serie A outings this season, though he’s so far been afforded just two starts.
A move away could be just what he’s looking for, and Mikel Arteta’s interest in Noa Lang suggests he’s keen to bolster his options on the wing.
With a £30m deal being touted, would Kulusevski be the right fit for a club who wouldn’t be able to guarantee him star status?
KP: “When Kulusevski joined Juventus initially, people expected a lot of him when I think Juventus themselves were undergoing a transition.
“Andrea Pirlo changed the system quite a bit before arriving at a sound system and formation that he wanted to play on a regular basis. Kulusevski could never really pin down a position. Pirlo often played him as a wing-back, then on the right-wing.
“In some games, he played as a right-sided striker. I think that didn’t help him and sometimes I think our perception of Kulusevski was inflated by that 2019/20 Parma season. On paper, he still looks like quite a good player.
“There are still a lot of uncertainties.”
Given Kaus’ comments on Kulusevski’s inability to nail down his position in the Juve team, Tom was keen to explore whether a deal for the Swede would be good business for Arsenal.
TC: “Would you question why Arsenal are looking to spend £25 million or £30 million on Kulusevski? They’ve already spent £72 million on Pepe. If you’re seeing a link with not only Kulusevski but a player like Noa Lang too, it does indicate that Mikel Arteta is looking to move on from Pepe in the near future.
“Is it a big risk for Arsenal to take on a player like Kulusevski?”
KP: “I think it’s a big risk. I think Kulusevski needs a club at this point where he is the star of the team. Maybe a bit like Parma, where they relied on him for pretty much everything. He scored just ten goals in the league that season and that’s not exceptional in any way – I mean, it’s pretty good for a 19-year-old.
“You can understand why the likes of Inter Milan and Manchester United were linked with him. He needs to be at a club where either the system suits him or he’s the star of the team.
“That’s when I look at a club like Fiorentina. I think at Arsenal, because of what Mikel Arteta is trying to build, I think the system does suit him but I don’t think he’ll be the star of that team.
“I don’t think that will help Kulusevski at this point. In my personal opinion, he needs to be at a club the size of Everton or Fiorentina who actually need a right-sided winger at this point.
“Or maybe Sassuolo who are aiming to get into Europe next season. I think Arsenal are pretty much at the same stage but they’re not Fiorentina.”
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