Arsenal might have missed out on a ‘top four’ Premier League finish but are still in contention to clinch a Champions League berth by defeating Chelsea in the Europa League final. The Gunners have shown signs of improvement under Unai Emery and must ensure a productive summer to regain their lost status in English football.
Despite a restricted transfer grant, they have already been linked with an array of new names to upgrade the squad. Also, the scouts are keeping close tabs on a few including the Sampdoria duo Joachim Andersen and Dennis Praet as confirmed by La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira.
Sunday an #Arsenal’s scout will be in Italia to watch Joaquim #Andersen and Dennis #Praet in Sampdoria-Juventus. #Gunners are interested in them for the next season and and it is not the first time they follow them. #transfers #AFC
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) May 24, 2019
Andersen, 22, is a promising central defensive option known for his great ball playing ability from the back. The Danish prodigy has represented his nation in the various youth ranks and is viewed as their NxGn sensation for his versatility, calmness, composure and all-round ability. Arsenal needs to bolster the backline significantly, and a move for I Blucerchiati starlet should be sanctioned if he shines on Sunday against the Old Lady.
Praet, his teammate, is a bit more experienced having featured for Anderlecht 182 times before being roped in by Sampdoria for a fee of around €10 million (as claimed by Nieuwsblad) back in summer of 2016. The 25-year-old Belgium international has been a regular for the Serie A side in a playmaking role and is hailed for his vision, defence-splitting through balls, passing and link-up football. He holds all the traits to succeed Aaron Ramsey in the middle of the park but must work on finishing skills to take his game to the next level.
“Praet can be the Modric or the Pjanic of tomorrow because he knows how to play, fight and has the right competitive spirit.”
Marco Giampaolo, the Sampdoria chief, spoke highly of his midfield maestro while being interviewed by the Italian daily Corriere dello Sport (as claimed by RTBF).
The Gunners, meanwhile, require enough depth in their squad to compete in all the competitions. Although they must tie down a renowned name to strengthen the deep defence, talents like Andersen would be benefitted from a sporadic role before grabbing a vital status in the long run.
Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Sokratis Papastathopoulos are already in their thirties whereas Shkodran Mustafi has been dreadful for quite a while. An overhaul, therefore, should be on the cards to close the gap and challenge for silverware.
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