Saturday, August 20, 2022

Arsenal Facing Chelsea Competition For This Eredivisie Star: Does This Move Make Sense For Arteta?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Mundo Deportivo, as cited by Independent, Arsenal are joined by Chelsea in pursuit of Nicolas Tagliafico. The Ajax left-back has emerged as the latest target for Premier League clubs, with the player widely expected to the take the next step in his career. Barcelona are also said to be interested in signing Tagliafico, giving Arsenal substantial competition.

How will Nicolas Tagliafico fit in at Arsenal?

A left-back by trade, it can be assumed that Nicolas Tagliafico will be considered as a direct replacement for Sead Kolasinac. The Bosnian fullback, since arriving from Schalke, has struggled with form and injuries. It has drastically impacted his overall game-time at the Emirates, irrespective of the manager in charge.

Kolasinac’s troubles have now seen him being linked with a move away from Emirates this season. Tagliafico, in that regard, should fit in nicely as a like for like replacement.

The Argentine international could compete with Kieran Tierney for a place in the first-team. In fact, he could have an excellent chance of outshining his Scottish counterpart, who has also struggled with injuries since arriving from Celtic last summer.

Arsenal are joined by Chelsea in pursuit of Nicolas Tagliafico - Should they make a move?
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – DECEMBER 10: Nicolas Tagliafico of Ajax in action during the UEFA Champions League group H match between AFC Ajax and Valencia CF at Amsterdam Arena on December 10, 2019, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Do Arsenal really need a left-back?

As mentioned earlier, there is a possibility Kolasinac could leave Arsenal this summer. It will create a significant void in the left-back department, leaving them fragile and devoid of reliable options aside from Tierney. And the Scot’s fitness woes could run the risk of Mikel Arteta once again having to rely on Bukayo Saka.

In fairness, though, the youngster has done exceptionally well this season. His attacking style makes him an ideal fit in the wing-back setup, thus providing Arteta with much more tactical flexibility. Also, the major competition in the attacking department means emerging as a wing-back is Saka’s only opportunity to establish himself as a first-team regular for Arsenal.

So essentially, the Gunners signing Tagliafico or any other left-back this summer could potentially obstruct Saka’s progress. It is also fair to consider the financial shortcomings the club is facing due to Coronavirus pandemic. It is expected to significantly weaken Arsenal’s economic firepower, meaning Arteta cannot afford to spend irresponsibly in the upcoming transfer window.

With that in mind, it may not be the ideal option for Arsenal to splash the cash on someone like Tagliafico at the moment. The north London club should persist with the duo of Saka and Tierney next season and instead, look to resolve their other problems by using the transfer market this summer.

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