It was less than two years ago when Arsene Wenger capitalized on Real Madrid's purchases of Gareth Bale and Isco by helping them fund their world-record move for the Welshman by taking Mesut Ozil off their hands on Deadline Day. Fast-forward to now, specifically a few days ago, when rumors started to surface that Arsenal is monitoring and weighing up a shock bid for none other than Isco himself.
Real Madrid's season has gone to pot over the past few weeks, and the relationship between the Spaniard and manager Carlo Ancelotti has reportedly deteriorated to the point that Isco's been benched the past couple matches over concerns about his attitude and work ethic. Enter rumors about a possible move away, with Arsenal rumored to be in sole position to land the star. If there's one man who can help ease him into a new country it's a man of Wenger's pedigree and grasp of the Spanish language.
As each day moves on and the chances of an Isco move to Arsenal keep moving from "remote" to "not remote", I searched out the only person capable of providing our blog a solid background on Arsenal's future midfield maestro.
Without further ado I'll let FOTB, Managing Madrid's bozz, take over:
On a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being as probable as Lionel Messi demanding a free transfer to Minnesota United in a month and 100 being as probable as Arsenal wearing red again next season, Isco Alarcon being a summer signing for Arsenal for a reported 33m should fall in the 5-10 range (and that's being generous). There are a number of reasons why this wouldn't be realistic and it's hard to even know where to begin.
First off, Arsenal doesn't need another slight-of-frame dribble-heavy midfielder as Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere all fit that mold. Secondly, he doesn't fit any positional need as Arsenal needs defensive depth in the midfield and not a ball carrier who is still learning the defensive aspect of the game (though he's come light years in that aspect since his time at Malaga and Valencia).
Third, despite some grumblings of unhappiness riding the Madrid bench he's proven to be an invaluable 12th man for Carlo Ancelotti and if the Italian gets the axe this summer one can certainly bank on the incoming manager rating him just as highly. Fourth, Isco, along with Atletico Madrid's Koke, is the future of the Spanish midfield and one of the most talented midfielders in the world. His skills, coupled with his nationality, would get Florentino Perez strung up if he were to sell him at this young age having given so much to Madrid in such a short time.
Fifth, there's no guarantee that he'd get any more minutes at Arsenal than at Madrid, unless he's made the full-time starter at RW which isn't likely at all. Sixth, there's just no way that 33m is going to be enough to pry him away from Madrid. I honestly doubt even the 42m paid for Ozil would cut it given how highly he's rated by Real Madrid. This is a player who's been given standing ovations by opposing crowds for the better part of a year, even when his play would make the opposition look silly.
To think that Florentino Perez, someone who does value the idea of Spanish national team players playing for his club, would part with his 23-year-old gem is just absurd.
I, for one, am super excited at the prospects of seeing Isco in the famous red-and-white. It wasn't too long ago that Arsenal struggled to attract the continent's best young talent and with the 23 year-old, nearing the peak of his career, poised to be on the brink of moving to north London, the reality of the club is that we're now a Destination.
But more importantly, how hilarious will this move be? Wenger will have Ozil -- whom he bought from Madrid when Tottenham traded in his services for Paulinho, Roberto Soldado, and a few other spare parts -- and now Isco, a player that Madrid bought before Bale and helped further their desire to offset the Bale purchase with by selling Ozil to Arsenal. I'm not saying Arsene Wenger's a genius, but I am saying Arsene Wenger's a genius for this.
While we won't roll out Isco in an introductory kick-about in our famous shirt, I'm extremely positive that our supporters around the world will show him that life is so much more than rotting away on the bench during the peak of his career.
Thanks to bozz for his insight on Isco and how he'll seamlessly fit in at Arsenal. Make sure to follow him on Twitter if you're not, and go check out all the excellent work he's done at Managing Madrid.