Sunday, January 29, 2023

Arsenal Closing In On Defensive Ace Ahead Of Tottenham: Why Emery Must Get The Deal Done

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Arsenal reportedly have a restricted transfer budget to invest on new signings. However, they are aiming big this summer and trying to rope in an array of names to bolster the squad. They were vulnerable defensively throughout the previous term, and therefore, are focusing on rebuilding the backline prior to the upcoming campaign.

According to Yahoo Sports journalist Manu Lonjon, the Gunners are closing in on Saint-Étienne wonderkid William Saliba having submitted a second offer which is close to the defender’s valuation. There’s interest from Wolves too whereas AS Roma, the Serie A heavyweights might also turn their attention on the Les Bleus youth international within the next hours.

Arsenal might face competition from their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. However, their offer of around £30m might see them securing the services of the 18-year-old who has already agreed on personal terms with the Premier League giants, according to the Sun.

Breakthrough Season In Ligue 1

Saliba made significant strides through the youth ranks of the French outfit before making his senior debut last season. He went on to feature 19 times in all competitions and played his part in the Saints’ fourth-placed league finish ahead of Marseille. They have qualified for European football and the teenager, likely to rejoin ASSE on loan upon completion of his move to the Emirates, would experience more first-team minutes to flourish his game.

How He Would Improve The Gunners

Arsenal conceded 51 goals last season in the league as Unai Emery failed to find a resolution to their defensive frailty despite trying out several combinations. Shkodran Mustafi has been dreadful while the likes of Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Laurent Koscielny had their issues with form and fitness. Youngster Konstantinos Mavropanos had an injury-ravaged year, and the gaffer had to utilise Nacho Monreal as a makeshift centre-back at times.

Monreal, Koscielny and Sokratis are at the twilight of the career and have been a shadow of their earlier self. The Gunners, therefore, need to reshuffle the defensive set-up and should identify able alternatives who could serve the club in the long run.

Saliba is regarded for his strong tackling traits, intercepting skills, concentration and the ability to play it out from the back to initiate counter-attacks. His style suits Emery’s brand of football and the composure exhibited at such a young age should see him attain enormous success in the forthcoming future.

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