After Arsenal’s recent poor form many players have come in for criticism. Following the defeat to Olympiakos most of the criticism was aimed at Andrei Arshavin, Gervinho and Aaron Ramsey. The former Wales captain has had a spluttering career so far at The Emirates.
After signing from Cardiff he looked a promising talented midfield player but has not found his best performances ever since the horror injury inflicted on him by Ryan Shawcross.
Whatever sympathy was originally bestowed on the young man appears to have now worn off as he is becoming one of several players consistently lambasted by Gunners supporters on social networking.
He would probably not be in the starting line-up were it not for a busy schedule and injuries to Tomas Rosicky and Abou Diaby in recent weeks but he should be clutching those brief opportunities when they come along rather than letting them go past.
So do Arsenal have a readymade replacement currently at the club?
As a matter of fact they just might.
Currently on-loan at Sao Paolo it can be hard to remember that Brazilian midfielder Denilson is in fact still an Arsenal player. The young midfielder was sent to his first club Sao Paolo after the arrival of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and emergence of Jack Wilshere; not to mention a series of back injuries in 2011.
After an initially cool start to his second stint in Brazil (he was sent off twice in his first three matches) he went on to become an integral part of the side and they decided to extend the loan for a second season.
This season has been his breakout year. He has featured in an incredible 64 games for The Tricolor Paulista adopting a much more defensive position in the midfield. His physical transformation is also very clear to see. He has become a much thicker set; clearly working on his muscular power and at times looks immovable in the centre of the park.
He is slowly looking more and more like his one-time ‘father-figure’ Gilberto Silva and the troublesome back injuries that once plagued him are now way behind him.
Sao Paolo will soon receive a large influx of cash when Lucas Moura concludes his move to Paris Saint-Germain in January. They will then be able to purchase Denilson outright with ease. Considering the new physicality allied with the already present technical ability of the Brazilian 24-year-old he could make a perfect and affordable option in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield if they have not forgotten about him.
He might just be a missing piece that they already possess.
Have a look at his fantastic goal from earlier in the season…
Would you like to see Denilson given another chance at Arsenal?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald