Thursday, March 30, 2023

Arsenal Can Still Sign One Of These 3 Defensive Rocks Instead Of Mustafi If Wenger Acts Fast

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Arsene Wenger will be disappointed with his team’s new Premier League campaign as they have managed to take just the one point from the first two games of the season against Liverpool and Leicester City. The manager has not been a lucky man in terms of injuries to key players and it has hit the team hard early this season with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista picking up lengthy injuries pushing Wenger into the transfer market for further additions.

Though they secured the services of Rob Holding, Wenger has been extensively linked with German international Shkodran Mustafi for a move this summer. However, with Mustafi’s parent club Valencia not ready to let him leave this summer, Wenger has failed in more than one attempt to land the 24-year old this summer. Reports today have suggested that Valencia now want close to £50m for their player leaving Arsenal with little chance of securing his signature. And with the deadline day approaching in just over a week, Wenger will now be desperate for additions so let’s take a look at 3 players who the manager can sign if Mustafi’s deal falls through.

Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid)

The 21-year old Uruguay international is one of the best options for Wenger this summer. He is a young strong central defender who loves to have the ball at his feet and is not fazed by the stature of the opposition. He already has 21 caps for his national side and has gathered loads of experience that will help Arsenal in their hunt next season.

He can play a perfect second fiddle to Laurent Koscielny at the back for Arsenal and easily a better option that the German international at Valencia. He is expected to cost around £56m but with Mustafi himself valued at £50m, Gimenez is better value for that money. He is a young centre-back who will only get better and if he makes the move to the Emirates this summer, he can easily be a top class talent for the Gunners not just in this season but years to come. So if Arsenal have to spend big on a defender, Gimenez is a great option.

Omer Toprak (Bayer Leverkusen)

A not very popular name in England, Toprak, is one of the most highly rated and consistent defenders in the Bundesliga for some time now. He has been a part of the German top flight football league for more than 5 years now and has made 129 appearances for the Leverkusen side in that time. He is vastly experienced, having also played 23 games for the Turkey national side and will be a good addition for the Gunners.

He has great knowledge of the game and is currently the vice-captain for the Bundesliga outfit. He will bring a sense of calm, authority and leadership to the Arsenal back line that has been missing for the last two seasons and can easily cement a place in the squad if given enough chances. He may not have played in England yet but at 27, he has enough experience to adjust himself to the conditions and fare well for the Gunners without much delay.

Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig)

A part of Germany’s Olympic contingent in Brazil, Lukas Klostermann is one of the most exciting youngsters in Germany at the moment. He has played for the VfL Bochum side before moving to Leipzig a couple of years ago and was able to cement his place in the starting XI  last season, earning a call call-upthe Olympic side with his performance for the club.

He was an important part of the squad in Brazil and made 6 appearances also earning a silver medal having lost the finals to Brazil. He is a tall centre-half who is comfortable in possession while his strength in the air is also commendable. He is a proper central defender most clubs would love to have in their squad and though he is still 20, he looks matured way beyond his years. He will be a like to like replacement for Mertesacker who is injured at Arsenal and will be an option Wenger can use for more than just a decade. He is a star in the making and this might be the only time Arsenal can get their hands on him without much competition.

Who do you think Arsenal should sign this summer if Shkodran Mustafi does not make the move this summer?

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