Croatian ace Marcelo Brozovic is set to be the subject of a bidding war between Premier League giants Arsenal and Chelsea this summer.
Brozovic’s agent Miroslav Bicanic recently stated that Inter Milan are ready to offload the 23 year old this summer. Metro reports him saying that his client would move unless Inter offered him a new and improved contract. If he were not to receive a contract, then a move to the Premier League may be on the cards, to either Arsenal or Chelsea.
“Marcelo is torn on this issue, but I think Inter want to sell him. He wants to play in the Champions League, but he does like Inter as a club and enjoys living in Milan.” There have been no reports of a new contract being offered to Brozovic and his agent said that since that was the case, Inter want to sell him. He said, “So far the club has not given us the impression they want to do that, so I have to conclude Inter want to sell him.”
Inter Milan director Piero Ausilio is reported to have flown out to London this week, possibly to discuss a transfer. On this Bicanic had to say, “Then that must mean they intend to sell Brozovic.”
Brozovic with the Blues
The Premier League teams that Brozovic has been linked with are both in need of midfield reinforcements. Chelsea’s midfield was practically missing in the first half of the season with Fabregas and Matic failing to put in the kind of performances that saw them dominate the league last year. Ramires abandoned a sinking ship and Mikel has never been able to truly establish himself as a first team player in his Chelsea career. The young Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who is the shining light of Chelsea’s academy, has shown flashes of skill and has a lot of potential, but with chances coming few and far between for the youth at Stamford Bridge, the youngster still has a long way to go if he is to become a regular first team pick.
Matic and Mikel have been linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge and it would be not be surprising to see a revamped midfield for the Blues’ come the start of next season. With rumours of a rebuilding job at Chelsea getting stronger by the day, Antonio Conte will have his task cut out for him. Chelsea have been linked with Roma duo Radja Nianggolan and Miralem Pjanic. But the talks seemed to have stalled and now Nainggolan is reportedly set to stay while Pjanic is linked with a move to Juventus.
Brozovic would fit anywhere in a midfield in a 4-3-3. He would play on the left or right of midfield and dictate the game. A combination of Fabregas and Brozovic would be fearsome. These two would operate on the right or left, and would be supported by a DM in between, providing cover for them.
He would also be well suited to a 3-5-2 that Conte is known to use, playing alongside Fabregas. But this time, he would be flanked by wingers/wingbacks. There would also be a defensive midfielder providing defensive cover for the back 3, while at the same time playing as a deep lying play maker. Though Brozovic has been known to play that role, it is unlikely he will be deployed there. His abilities would be put to better use up front while attacking.
Brozovic could fit anywhere in midfield. His versatility and sharp reading of the game allows him to play in a central midfield, central attacking midfield or even as a defensive midfielder. It is highly unlikely that the Croatian will be deployed as a defensive midfielder though, as his discipline is an issue. His well timed runs into the box will be also pose as an added goal threat for the Blues. Though primarily right-footed, he is almost as good with his left foot and is equally adept at scoring with either.
Arsenal’s midfield depth has significantly reduced, after the departure of Flamini, Rosicky and Arteta. That and with Jack Wilshere’s injury problems, Arsenal need a few new names in midfield. They have Mohamed Elneny for that position along with Santi Cazorla, but Wenger may decide to bring in a pair of fresh legs to deal with their now characteristic mid season injuries.
The Gunners have already begun adding to their Arsenal, with Granit Xhaka being spotted in an an Arsenal photo shoot and his signing is all but confirmed. Brozovic and the Swiss Xhaka would make a good midfield pairing. Xhaka can be deployed as a box to box midfielder who would assist in attack and defence and Brozovic would help create chances and dictate the game. Both are 23 years of age and vastly experienced and this pairing could be one that could stay for years to come.
Brozovic shares some similarities with Xhaka, thought they wouldn’t be a like for like replacement for each other. Brozovic is more of a goal scorer where as Xhaka is a more mobile box-to-box midfielder. They would compliment each other however, as both are technically gifted players who dictate games for their teams.
Battle for Brozovic
Out of the two London rivals, it is Chelsea who seem to require him more. Their midfield needs an injection of pace and creativity and much like the entire team, needs a breath of fresh air. His technical ability combined with his work rate would suit Conte’s philosophy and help the Blues dominate the midfield battle.
Over the course of the season, Marcelo Brozovic has gone on to become the beating heart of Inter Milan. He is the only player that seems to have improved over the course of this campaign for the Nerazzuri. He will be closely monitored by many potential suitors in the summer as Croatia take on the best of Europe in the Euro2016 in France, and expectations from Brozovic will be high as he gets ready to showcase his talent on Europe’s grandest stage.