Exclusive expert insight: Arsenal consider move for Dortmund’s Julian Brandt

Creative necessity falls to Brandt

Arsenal’s need for a creative addition in January is obvious and the recent focus has been drawn to Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt. The Gunners have been linked to a number of creative midfielders including Houssem Aouar, Dominik Szoboszlai, Emi Buendia and Christian Eriksen.

The Athletic have reported that since missing out on the Hungarian Red Bull Salzburg prodigy, that The Gunners had considered a move for the former Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder.

The creative issues at Arsenal have been partly down to Mikel Arteta’s own making. After the club failed to acquire a creative addition in the summer, Arteta then chose to omit Mesut Ozil from the Premier League squad and thus left himself with no natural central senior creative player.

This therefore led to a variety of different formations and combinations in the forward line but ultimately no creative spark was present, which has since led to a drought of goals for The Gunners.

The only natural options would be that of Joe Willock, who could even be described more of a centre midfielder, and Emile Smith-Rowe, who has shown glimpses of brilliance but only glimpses due to the lack of minutes trusted in him this season.

It seems therefore only a matter of time until Arsenal do make that fateful dive into the January window in an attempt to sign a top class creative midfielder.

Who is Julian Brandt?

101 spoke to Get German Football News writer and all-round German football expert Andrew Thompson.

‘Arsenal fans have been crying out for Julian Brandt at the club for quite sometime, but without perhaps truly understanding who he is as a player.

At Leverkusen, his creative influence from multiple positions showed he was very much a modern attacking player. Capable of deploying on either flank, or in a central attacking role, the Bremen-native and Wolfsburg academy product is a wonderful blend of technical craft and tactical versatility.

Hakan Calhanoglu and Julian Brandt

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY – DECEMBER 03: Hakan Calhanoglu of Leverkusen celebrates his team’s first goal with team mate Julian Brandt during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and SC Freiburg at BayArena on December 3, 2016 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

It’s not gone completely to plan this season for the former U17 (silver) & U18 (gold) Fritz Walter Medal winner, however.

With Dortmund’s up and down level of performances under the now departed Lucien Favre, Brandt has seen his effectiveness – and minutes – take a considerable hit. Starting just six of Die Schwarzgelben’s thirteen Bundesliga fixtures, a fresh start could well be on the cards for the German international.

His technical ability & creative prowess, along with a ruthlessly efficient left foot, would seemingly be ideal to fit the mold for Mikel Arteta’s left-sided central option in an assumed midfield-three for the Basque headmaster.

Still and yet, he has plenty to offer either his current employer, or Arsenal, given recent links in interest from the Gunners via The Athletic.’

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