Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Arsenal Preparing Offer For Turkish Full-Back: Is This A Move That Arteta Needs To Make This Summer?

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

According to a recent report by Turkish news source Hurriyet, Premier League giants Arsenal are said to be preparing a summer bid to acquire the services of La Havre full-back Umut Meras.

The report suggests that the Gunners are set to face competition from Portuguese giants Porto for the speedster’s signature and that Mikel Arteta is eyeing a new left-back despite the recent acquisition of promising Scottish starlet Kieran Tierney from Celtic just last summer. Porto are said to be lining him up as a potential replacement for Alex Telles.

Although it has been clarified that Arsenal are interested in Umut Meras, Porto’s interest cannot be taken lightly by the Gunners’ staff. The report claims that the North London club have been scouting and keeping tabs on the full-back’s development all through the current campaign and that there are rumblings of an offer from the Emirates on the horizon. It has also been suggested that the Normandy club could be resigned to cashing in on their defensive star this summer.

What Is Arsenal’s Current Left-Back Situation?

Arsenal started the season with two strong options to choose from in the left-back role, but the injury to Kieran Tierney meant that things weren’t going to be quite as comfortable as they seemed. Sead Kolasinac had been the other option, and as good as he is on the ball, it must be conceded the speedster tends to be erratic in his play. When the Bosnian himself missed some of the action with injury as well, although it seemed like they had run out of options, Bukayo Saka was thrown into the fray.

Arsenal Are Interested In Umut Meras - Meras carries the ball
Turkey’s defender Umut Meras (L) vies with France’s midfielder Moussa Sissoko during the Euro 2020 Group H qualification football match between France and Turkey at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris on October 14, 2019. (Photo by Alain JOCARD / AFP via GETTY)

The youngster did an excellent job of holding down the fort while the first-choice players nursed their injuries, and even when Kolasinac returned, Saka managed to keep him out of the side for a while. With that said though, it must be conceded that the teenager is a left-winger by position, which means that finding a dependable option for the left-back role could actually be a necessity. Tierney, who was brought in with massive expectations, ended up playing in just five league outings and didn’t make a meaningful goal contribution along the way either.

What Would Umut Meras Bring To The Emirates Stadium?

The Turkish speedster was having what can only be described a brilliant season in Ligue 2 before the Coronavirus pandemic brought the campaign to a halt. With the French government deciding to end all the leagues, it’s unlikely that the player will be able to step onto a football pitch in France until around September. Meras played a total of 22 times for La Havre this season – a period during which he managed a lone assist as well. While that doesn’t sound overly impressive, it’s his defensive ability that has seemingly caught the Gunners’ eyes.

Arsenal Are Interested In Umut Meras: Should Arteta Look To Sign Him Up?

Kieran Tierney was brought in with a lot of hope, and although things haven’t quite worked out for him yet, the Scot is bound to come good in due course. Sead Kolasinac, as questionable as his defending can be, also offers good physical attributes. Meras hasn’t done nearly enough in his career to warrant a move to one of the biggest clubs in the whole of Europe. Arsenal will do well to stick to their guns for the time being, as Meras doesn’t look like the kind of player who could come in and have an impact at the Emirates next season.

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