In a recent interview with NOC (via the Metro), Arsenal legend and AFC Ajax sporting director, Marc Overmars has stated that the Dutch club will do everything they can to keep hold of their left-back Nicolás Tagliafico beyond this summer amid interest from Arsenal. The Metro also mentions that the Argentine defender recently declined an offer to extend his contract at the Johan Cruijff ArenA and was believed to be one of Unai Emery’s top transfer targets for the summer.
However, Overmars put a dent to the Gunners’ hopes of landing the player and told NOC (via the Metro), “We want to keep Nico Tagliafico and David Neres here.
“If you start reading the news on sports sites every time, you will continue to give your question and answer.
“In the end, we provide the answer ourselves, because of course we are working with Nico to keep him here for another year. Let’s see that in the coming weeks.”
It is clear from Overmars’ recent words that Ajax are reluctant to let go of their prized asset and will try to keep him at the club for at least another year. Hence, this recent development will be a bitter pill to swallow for the Premier League side as they need to add more quality to their squad in the summer to help them in their quest to win silverware in the coming years.
How Has Tagliafico Fared This Season?
Tagliafico has enjoyed a very productive campaign with Ajax thus far and has been one of the main reasons why they have done so well in the UEFA Champions League this season. He has proven his worth this term by putting in a series of impressive displays down the left flank for the Eredivisie giants.
Do The North London Side Really Need Him?
If the Gunners are planning to do well and compete on all fronts next season, then they would need more quality in every position. There is no doubt that Sead Kolasinac is having a fantastic season at the Emirates Stadium as he has been a serial goal-threat and an assist-maker down the left wing.
However, Tagliafico would have provided more competition for him at the North London club. Nacho Monreal is currently Emery’s second option for the left-back position, but he is heading into the twilight years of his career so it might be time for Arsenal to prepare for life after his departure.
Big Blow For The Gunners?
Missing out on Tagliafico will be a massive blow for Emery as the Argentine full-back would have fit in well to his style of play at the Emirates. The 26-year-old has made 35 appearances for AFC Ajax this term, scoring five goals while creating six assists across all competitions. More importantly, the South American prospect has also shown that he can perform his defensive duties after making an average of 2.3 tackles, 2.1 interceptions and 1.7 clearances per match in the Dutch Eredivisie (Stats taken from Whoscored).
If Ajax refuses to play ball next summer, then Emery should concentrate on bringing in some of his other transfer targets and make a move for Tagliafico when he becomes available in the future.
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