North London giants Arsenal are now reportedly the newest side to join the race in landing Denmark’s star defender Simon Kjaer. The Turkish League centre-half has been a long-term target for numerous top Premier League sides over the last two seasons but a deal has failed to materialise. The 28-year-old Danish international is one of the best enforcers in the Super Lig and Fenerbahce have found it increasingly difficult to retain his service with every passing year.
Arsenal managed to end their poor season, both domestic and European, in the strongest way possible by winning seven of their last eight games and overcoming Chelsea’s challenge in the FA Cup final, who were perhaps the best side last term.
The extreme situation demanded some solid displays from the players and Arsenal were fortunate to see players like Nacho Monreal, Rob Holding and Gabriel Paulista stepping up their game in crucial moments. Arsene Wenger was also graced by a man of the match display by Per Mertesacker in the Wembley final, who didn’t play a single game before that owing to injuries.
But, all this cannot cover the fact that the Gunners have been tremendously inconsistent at the back, which led to them getting humbled by teams like Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Watford last season. And this has been a recurrent theme in Arsenal’s domestic campaign for the last five years.
With Mertesacker deciding to retire and Paulista a possible departure from their back line now, Wenger is eyeing a solid player to partner Shkodran Mustafi and skipper Laurent Koscielny at the back next season. And the Fenerbahce defender looks like ideal for the role.
The Horsens-born marks a huge figure at the back with his 189cm height. He even managed to score thrice for Fenerbahce last season in all competitions. The Dane relies on his aggressive approach and superior strength to see off opponents and Arsenal will be hugely benefitted by the likes of him, having not had such dominating defenders since the days of Sol Campbell, Tony Adams and Edu.
Fenerbahce finished the season in the third-place last season conceding just 32 goals all season, which reflects the assurance that Kjaer brings. An academy product of Denmark side FC Midtjylland, Kjaer moved to Serie A side Palermo back in 2008. Impressive displays there helped him climb the ladder and big clubs soon followed.
He has played for the likes of Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg, Serie A side AS Roma and Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille, before Fenerbahce came calling. Arsenal have already completed the signing of Sead Kolasinac from FC Schalke and Kjaer’s arrival could pretty much complete their defensive reinforcements.