Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Arsenal To Rival Wolves For This Serie A Defender: What Will He Bring To The Emirates Stadium?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent print edition of Tuttosport (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), Arsenal are set to rival Wolves for Juventus defender Daniele Rugani’s signature during the summer transfer window. The same source has also mentioned that the Turin outfit are looking to cash in on the Italian centre-back so that they can make ‘capital gains’ this summer with the Gunners and Wolves both set to clash heads to acquire his services (via Sport Witness).

Rugani’s Growing Frustrations In Italy This Season

Rugani has endured a frustrating spell at the Allianz Stadium after struggling to earn regular game time under the stewardship of Maurizio Sarri during this campaign. He has made seven senior appearances for Juve this term, picking up one yellow card and receiving a total of 630 minutes of playing time in the process across all fronts.

However, the Italian defensive ace deserves credit for producing the goods whenever he has been called into action this season as evidenced by his average of 1.0 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 4.6 clearances per game in the Serie A and the UEFA Champions League so far. He has also been quite tidy with his ball-distribution after completing 86.9% of his attempted passes in league and European football (stats via whoscored).

The 25-year-old has also secured seven senior caps for the Italian national team but is yet to score a goal for his country. Maybe a change of scenery this summer could provide him with more first-team opportunities which might help him find some form and stake a claim in Italy boss Roberto Mancini’s squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals following the competition’s deferral because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arsenal to rival Wolves for Daniele Rugani who is in action in the picture
Daniele Rugani of Juventus battles for the ball with Giovanni Simeone of ACF Fiorentina during the Serie A match between Juventus and ACF Fiorentina on September 20, 2017, in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

What Will The Seven-Time Italy International Bring To North London?

Rugani is a moderately-paced centre-half who possesses excellent defensive awareness that allows him to make some vital interceptions for his side. He is often quick to read the danger and can pull off a few crucial last-gasp clearances inside his own half. The Italian has got a great leap in him, which enables him to win a lot of headers but can sometimes be exposed due to his lack of pace and his inability to work hard for his team.

Even then, the pros outweigh the cons of signing him, so Mikel Arteta should consider orchestrating a move to bring him to the Emirates Stadium this summer. He will not only add more bite and steel to the Gunners backline but also improve the overall depth of their squad. Plus, the Serie A talent will offer some healthy competition for the likes of David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers at North London next season.

At 25, Rugani is about to enter the prime years of his playing career. Thus, it makes sense for the Gunners to offer him an escape route out of Turin as long as they are willing to give him a regular run of games at the English capital in the years to come.

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