Arsenal are currently in talks with midfielder Steven Nzonzi’s entourage as they seek a possible transfer deal. Arsenal continue to furbish their squad with a latest move linking them to Sevilla and France midfielder, Steven Nzonzi. The 29-year-old’s father, who also acts as his agent, handed in a transfer request last week and a move away from the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán seems very likely. According to El Confidencial,the Gunners have already tabled a £15m bid, which has since been rejected with Sevilla demanding £22m.

Ever since the appointment of Sven Mislintat as head of recruitment, back in November, Arsenal have shown a real intent in the transfer market. Following an exodus of several top players including Alexis Sánchez, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, Mislintat has overseen the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Greek defender, Konstantinos Mavropanos in the January transfer window; while the summer transfer window has seen the arrival of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, so far.
In the defensive midfield role, Arsenal already have Mohamed Elneny – who recently signed a contract extension – while Lucas Torreira looks set to sign after the World Cup. So, why exactly are Arsenal seeking Nzonzi?
First of all, Unai Emery is a big fan of the Frenchman, having spent the 2015/16 season together at Sevilla, in which the club won its third successive Europa League title. Under Emery, the Frenchman saw a tremendous transformation. His confidence on the ball and passing abilities improved dramatically as he ended the season with 46 appearances under his belt. £22m seems a reasonable price – in this inflated market – for someone who is in the peak of his career. In his three years with the Los Rojiblancos, Nzonzi has made over 130 appearances and scored 8 goals, while registering 7 assists.
It is his deep-lying midfield play, however, that has earned him praise and comparison to compatriot and Arsenal legend, Patrick Vieira. Nzonzi is a hard-hitting and tough-tackling defensive midfielder. Standing at a commanding 196 cm, he has a strong aerial presence, and sound passing abilities. He is also pretty comfortable when in possession of the ball – something he developed during his time at Sevilla – and shows great zeal in covering large distances for his team. Added to the attributes is Nzonzi’s experience in the Premier League; he spent six seasons in the Premier League and made over 190 appearances for Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City.
The Frenchman’s relationship with Sevilla has been strained at times. Last November, a major fallout with then manager, Eduardo Berizzo, saw him miss six weeks of action. However, he worked his way back into contention, and an exemplary performance in the second-half of the season earned him a call-up to France’s World Cup squad.
Nzonzi’s contract with Sevilla runs until 2020 and a £35 million release clause was inserted when he extended his contract in January, last year. Juventus too have bid for the player and the lure of Champions League football could prove to be a possible obstacle for the Gunners.
Francis Coquelin failed to inspire much confidence in the defensive midfield role, and was gradually sold to Valencia in January, even though he signed a long-term contract last season. If Arsenal sign Nzonzi, they will get a hard hitting and strong tackling midfielder who can connect the defense with midfield, and work tirelessly for the team – something Arsenal will surely want. Moreover, his aerial presence could prove to be a decisive factor in tight match situations. Nonetheless, Arsenal will need to fork out around £22 million for the midfielder, as specified by Sevilla’s director, Joaquín Caparrós.