Don’t look now, but the silly season is upon us once again. There have already been a number of rumors flying around, but today brought what seems to be at least a halfway-credible one — Arsenal are kicking the tires on Isco for a half-season loan from Real Madrid. The 28-year old attacking midfielder has been heavily rotated this season, which is a nice way of saying “teetering on the edge of out-of-favor.”
The rumor seems to originate from Diario AS, a daily Spanish sports paper. According to some of our other SB Nation soccer blogger-friends, it isn’t the most reliable source, but they can be accurate with Spanish players and Spanish clubs at times. The Arsenal beat reporters felt the rumor credible enough to ask Mikel Arteta about it during the Brighton post-game conference, for whatever that’s worth. Of course, Arteta gave a non-answer, responding that he can’t talk about individual players or plans, as he always does.
The Gunners could do much worse than a half-season loan for Isco. He’s a known commodity and has proven himself at the highest level time and again. Even though Zinedine Zidane usually deploys him in wider areas, he can and has played through the middle. I’d expect him to play centrally at Arsenal, and he’d fill the the gaping chasm in the Arsenal lineup for a central, creative, attacking player. You’d expect him to be motivated to play well and show out because he’s currently on the outside of the Spanish National Team roster looking in ahead of the Euros this summer.
But a half-season loan is really all I’m interested in for Isco. Arsenal don’t need to be committing more medium to long-term money to players on the wrong side of the aging curve. I’d prefer that Arsenal move for a younger player when the January window opens in a few days, but those deals are harder to get done and cost significantly more. If Arsenal can’t make such a move, a safer loan move would be better than reaching / panic buying someone who isn’t up to par.
TL:DR - it’s a low risk, medium reward move that would fill a need and could help protect Arsenal from themselves. So sure, why not. He’s an upgrade on “nothing” and would improve the attack.