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Update On Arsenal’s Pursuit Of This Serie A Defender: What Will He Add To Arteta’s Side?

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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.

In a recent print edition, Gazzetta dello Sport has provided an update on Arsenal‘s pursuit of Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic. It is understood that the Florence giants would sell the Serbian centre-back to the highest bidder with Arsenal being one of the clubs showing interest in recruiting him during the summer transfer window (via The Sun).

Milenkovic’s Solid Form In Italian Football This Season

Milenkovic is experiencing a solid season at the Artemio Franchi Stadium and has been responsible for putting in a run of impressive displays at the centre of Fiorentina’s backline. The 23-year-old has featured in 37 matches for the Italian outfit this term, netting three goals and securing one assist in multiple competitions.

The Serbian talent has given a good account of himself on the defensive end of the field as he is averaging 1.4 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 3.6 clearances per game in Serie A football this season. Milenkovic has also been tidy when distributing possession from the back based on his pass success rate of 86% in the Italian first division (stats via whoscored).

Hence, the Gunners will do well to lure him away from Florence if they can find the funds to outbid some of their competition in the race to acquire the services of the Serie A defensive ace in this off-season.

Update on Arsenal's pursuit of Milenkovic who is seen in the picture
February 28, 2021, Udine, Italy: Udine, Italy, Friuli – Dacia Arena stadium, February 28, 2021, Disappointment, frustration of Nikola Milenkovic Fiorentina for the defeat during Udinese Calcio vs ACF Fiorentina – Italian football Serie A match Italian football Serie A match – Udinese Calcio vs ACF Fiorentina, udine, Italy PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY – ZUMAl164 20210228_zsa_l164_140 Copyright: xEttorexGriffonix

What Will Milenkovic Add To Mikel Arteta’s Team?

Standing at 1.95m, Milenkovic is a powerhouse in central defence and can use his strong frame to win some crucial aerial duels for his team. He is often quick to snuff out the danger and doesn’t mind getting stuck in with a few crunching tackles to earn possession back on the defensive end of the field.

Arsenal are in dire need of a commanding figure at the back as they have often leaked in some poor goals during the course of this campaign. Milenkovic fits the bill perfectly as he will add a lot of bite and steel to the Gunners backline and could even help them challenge for a top-four place in the Premier League next season. The Belgrad-born sensation will even increase competition for places within Arteta’s match-day squad.

At 23, Milenkovic ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Arteta wants from his centre-backs. He will also enhance the quality of the North London club’s first-team considerably and is good enough to be a regular starter at the Emirates Stadium for years to come.

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