Saturday, August 20, 2022

Ex Real Madrid Defender Rejects Move To Arsenal: 3 Alternatives For Emery Including Burnley Defender

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by L’Equipe, as mentioned in the Metro, former Real Madrid centre-back Pepe has declined a move to Arsenal in favour of a switch to AS Monaco during this January transfer window. The Portuguese veteran is currently a free agent after being released by Besiktas last month and is free to join any club of his choosing. If recent reports in France are to be believed, the 35-year-old has decided to join the Ligue 1 outfit, much to the frustration of Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

The Gunners have been average at best defensively during this campaign. Some of their defending has been atrocious which was clearly on evidence when they lost 5-1 against Liverpool back in December last year.

Emery needs to bring in some fresh faces to bolster his backline so Pepe’s rejection will be a bitter pill to swallow for the former Paris Saint-Germain boss. Here are three alternative options for the North Londoners to consider during this winter transfer period.

Harry Maguire

The Leicester City centre-back has been in fine form for both club and country as he has now established himself as one of the best young defenders in English football. Maguire is a leader at the back and has developed the ability to get the best out of the players around him. Hence, it makes a lot of sense for the Gunners to move in for him as he could really help them get back to the UEFA Champions League next season.

James Tarkowski 

The Burnley defensive ace has slowly built up a reputation for being a solid defender in the Premier League. He also has a knack for scoring and creating goals on the other end of the pitch which is always a plus for a club like Arsenal. Tarkowski would undoubtedly be a smart addition to Emery’s defence which lacks quality at this moment.

Jamaal Lascelles 

The Newcastle United centre-half has struggled with injuries in recent times, but when fit, he can trouble any striker in the English top-flight. Lascelles is a no-nonsense defender who is always reliable at the back but is not too good on the ball which will be a cause for concern. Despite all this, the positives outweigh the negatives and Arsenal should think about signing him as a quick solution to their defensive struggles this season.

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