It was a big surprise to many when it was announced that Germany national team manager Joachim Low had chosen to leave Manchester City star Leroy Sane at home and instead go to the 2018 World Cup with Julian Brandt. Although Germany did badly at the World Cup and were knocked out at the group stage, Brandt was one of the few positives for the 2014 champions, showing flashes of what he can do in only 19 minutes across three substitute appearances that he made.
Those of us who have seen him play in the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen know he is a quality player. I am not saying he is better than Leroy Sane currently, but he is a player who can be World Class if he continues to develop at the rate he is going at the moment. He is a player the big guns in the Premier League should certainly consider trying to sign in my opinion. Brandt is a very versatile player in that he can play on both the left (his primary role) and right wings, as well as a central attacking midfielder. All roles that Manchester City’s Sane can also play.
Where should he go?
The obvious answer would be Arsenal. The Gunners lack a real left winger in their team. Whilst they do have the likes of Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck who play in that position, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who can be used out there when he is not playing up front, none of them are natural left wingers. As a result, Arsenal should go all out to sign Julian Brandt this summer. However, judging by the reported £70 million transfer kitty Arsenal have this summer, the North London club may not be able to afford the German.
Though if Unai Emery can sell some of the deadwood and fringe players at the club, the Gunners would be in a much better position to purchase the attacking midfielder. Welbeck, for instance, could be sold and should be able to fetch the club around £20 million. Mohamed Elneny, who was linked with a move to Leicester City last summer, could also fetch between £10-£15 million for the Gunners. Joel Campbell, who spent last season on loan at Real Betis in Spain, could easily fetch £4-£5m. Shkodran Mustafi is another player the Gunners could sell to raise funds.
With Calum Chambers signing a new deal at the Emirates, it is obvious Emery likes the former-Southampton player, and with Sokratis Papastathopoulos already signed this summer, Mustafi may be surplus to requirements at Arsenal. Purchased for £35 million two years ago, Arsenal should still be able to get upward of £25 million for the German defender.
Of course it won’t be as easy as I have made it out to sell these players, but Arsenal should certainly be aiming to fetch around £50 million from player sales this summer, which they could then spend on someone like Julian Brandt, whom I honestly believe would transform Arsenal’s attack. Despite the inflation in the transfer market, I firmly believe Arsenal can get the 22-year-old for around £50 million, and at this price they should go out of their way to try to sign him before the big guns do.
Imagine having Julian Brandt in the same starting lineup as Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey? That sounds like a team who could score a lot of goals, and with proper coaching and tactics, should be good enough to compete for the 2018-19 Premier League title, or at least some silverware.