According to Toro News, as cited by La Stampa, Arsenal are set to hold talks with the agent of Armando Izzo. The Gunners have identified the Torino defender as a top target as they look to add more quality to their defensive department this summer. It is believed that the club’s representatives will meet Izzo’s entourage within the coming weeks and discuss a potential switch to Emirates Stadium.
However, the report further claims that Torino chairman Urbano Cairo is reluctant to let go of their prized defender while the North London are also set to face fierce competition from AS Roma and AC Milan in pursuit of this Italian centre-back.
Izzo’s fantastic season at Torino
Izzo has quickly become a vital asset of the Torino backline since moving to Turin in a €9 million move from Genoa last summer. The 27-year-old made 37 league appearances, during which he notably scored four goals and provided one assist.
The Italian built a formidable defensive partnership with Nicolas N’Koulou at the heart of Torino’s three-man backline, helping Il Toro finish seventh in the league. He also featured in 3,432 minutes of league football across all competition, which is only bettered by striker Andrea Belotti (3480).
What can Izzo bring to the table?
The very first thing that comes to mind when describing Izzo is his fantastic control on the ball. Indeed, the 27-year-old has excellent composure over the ball, which allows him to get forward and pick out passes to midfielders as well as attackers. It also allows him to feature as a right-back if needed.
The ex-Genoa defender is also a very opportunistic defender, who is always on the lookout for scoring chances inside the box, especially from set-pieces. Hence, it comes as no surprise as to why he has plundered four league goals this past season.
Defensively, Izzo is an impressive reader of the game, having averaged 2.4 interceptions per game. He has also averaged 2.1 tackles per game while his 183cm frame gives the 27-year-old considerable advantage in the air. So essentially, the Italian has won 3.2 headed duels per game in the recently concluded 2018/19 campaign.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored
Should Arsenal sign Izzo?
Izzo could be the ideal defensive target for Arsenal as they prepare for life without Laurent Koscielny next season. The Italian is vastly experienced, having made 135 appearances in Serie A. His ball playing quality also means that would be an ideal defensive partner to the more robust Sokratis, thus adding another dimension to the Arsenal defence.
Furthermore, the Torino star is likely to be a considerably cheaper option than other defensive targets available in the market. And this could bode well for Arsenal, who are operating with a slender budget this summer.
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