Saturday, January 28, 2023

Arsenal Identify This Portuguese International As Replacement For Koscielny: Good Option For Emery?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

According to Daily Mail, Arsenal have identified their desired replacement for Laurent Koscielny, and it is none other than Ruben Dias. The Benfica centre-back is touted as one of the most talented defenders in Europe, with the Gunners ready to make a move. However, Dias reportedly has a release clause of €66 million, although Arsenal will try to negotiate a lower fee.

Ruben Dias’ success for club and country

Dias has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence following his promotion to the senior side back in 2017. He has made as many as 24 league appearances in the 2017/18 season, which is quite impressive given the fact that it has been his professional debut campaign.

He was duly given a more prominent role in the Benfica backline last season as he ended up making 32 league appearances. The 22-year-old built a formidable defensive partnership with Jardel, helping the Eagles secure their 37th Portuguese league title.

As a result of his consistent performances, Dias also became a vital part of the Portuguese defence. He notably played a key role for Selecao das Quinas in the recently concluded UEFA Nations Cup last month.

What can Dias bring to the table?

Arguably the biggest asset for Dias as a defender is his leadership qualities. He can motivate his team from the back and lead his side by examples. The Portuguese international is a strong tackler while his 1.87m frame gives him a considerable advantage in terms of aerial duels.

But, what makes Dias such a sought-after defender in Europe is his ability to play out from the back. Indeed, Dias has excellent vision, and the Benfica star can find midfielders and attackers with his laser passes in between the lines.

But it’s unlikely Arsenal will be able to afford him

Arsenal’s pursuit of top defensive target William Saliba seems to have taken a new turn, with Tottenham Hotspur now showing keen interest. Hence, the Gunners are probably right to shift their attention towards Dias.

However, the 22-year-old’s hefty €66 million release clause is a bit too expensive for an Arsenal side, who have a slender transfer budget this summer.

Even if they manage to agree to a lower fee for the Benfica star, it’s unlikely the Eagles will want to go below the €45 million mark, which, in itself, is enough to consume almost the entirety of Arsenal’s transfer kitty. Therefore, Dias remains an unrealistic target for Unai Emery this summer unless he manages to offload the likes of Mesut Ozil, Mohamed Elneny and Calum Chambers among many others.

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