What exactly does Mikel Arteta want from his number 10? Well from the variety of players he’s been linked with signing this summer it’s difficult to say.
Odegaard, is someone who looks to retain possession by linking well with his teammates before patiently waiting for the right moment to play the killer pass, while Buendia, is far more proactive in his approach to chance creation, looking to win the ball high and progress his team up the pitch as soon as possible.
Despite being open on some things Arteta tends to keep his cards relatively close to his chest when it comes to the specific tactical demands he places on individuals, but last season he hinted the thing he valued most in a central attacking midfielder.
The comments came in relation to Emile Smith Rowe who has been simply sensational since coming into the Arsenal first team in the Boxing Day victory over Chelsea.
However, a criticism of the 20-year-old is that he has been found slightly lacking when it comes to his end product.
Speaking after Smith Rowe’s first Premier League goal against West Brom last month, Arteta revealed that it is the ability to score goals and make assists that he feels separates the good number 10s from the great ones.
“He (Smith Rowe) is having an incredible season ever since he started to play in December,” said the Spaniard. “But he’s scoring his first Premier League goal.”
“An incredible season for a No 10 of Arsenal means he needs to score 15 goals and give 10 assists.
“Then you are right up there with the top guys in Europe and in the league.”
With this in mind it’s easy to see why the Gunners have been so heavily linked with signing Buendia.
If you want end product then the 24-year-old is your man. In the Championship last season he managed 31 goal involvements (15 goals and 16 assists).
Between them Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny, Dani Ceballos and Thomas Partey managed just over half of that figure with 18 (five goals and 13 assists) although admittedly this was in a more difficult competition in the Premier League.
Goal scoring and assisting from midfield has been a real problem for Arsenal this season, and although their may be questions as to Buendia’s ability to keep up this run in the top flight, signing him would represent a move to address this.
It should be said that purchasing the Argentinian wouldn’t necessarily take the Gunners out of the running to sign Odegaard.
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If Willian and Reiss Nelson end up leaving then there will be a space in the attacking midfield section of Arteta’s squad that he make seek to fill by reacquiring the Norwegian if he is available at the right price.
But for now it seems the focus is on securing Buendia who has the potential to have an incredible impact on the Arsenal side next season.