Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Arsenal Eye Swoop For La Liga Defender: Does He Fit The Bill At Emirates?

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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 Fichajes, Arsenal are among clubs interested in Dani Vivian. The Athletic Bilbao defender has garnered a lot of interest in the market due to his performances in La Liga. The Gunners are included in the long list of suitors who are following his progress closely, with the defender reportedly having a €40 million release clause in his contract that expires in 2023.

Who Is Dani Vivian?

A native of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Dani Vivian has emerged as a breakthrough star for Athletic Bilbao this season, since returning from his successful loan spell at CD Mirandes this summer.

In these early parts of the campaign, the 22-year-old has already featured in seven La Liga matches, building a formidable partnership with Spanish international Inigo Martinez that has seen the club concede only four goals in eight matches. In fact, Bilbao have lost the only game Vivian didn’t play this season, which is enough to indicate the importance of the young centre-back in this team.

Indeed, the former CD Basconia youth player has made quite an impression with his composed nature at the heart of the backline. Moreover, his dogged defensive attitude has been quite noticeable, with the Bilbao centre back notably averaging almost five clearances per game this season.

Standing at 183cm, Vivian might not be the most intimidating of defenders, but his commitment, composure and fighting spirit more than make up for it, which is why the Spaniard is now being considered as a potential candidate for the national team.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

Arsenal are among clubs interested in Dani Vivian - A wise choice?
BILBAO, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 11: Dani Vivian of Athletic Bilbao celebrates after scoring their team’s first goal during the LaLiga Santander match between Athletic Club and RCD Mallorca at San Mames Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Bilbao, Spain (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Should Arsenal Make A Move?

Despite the summer acquisition of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White, it appears Arsenal are determined to further strengthen their defensive ranks by making a move for another quality centre-back.

The Gunners haven’t had much luck with the signing of Pablo Mari while both Calum Chambers and Rob Holding face an uncertain future at the club. Vivian, in that regard, could be an interesting alternative.

The Athletic Bilbao defender has already showcased his defensive talents in La Liga this season, building quite the connection with Martinez. His dogged defensive nature could be useful at Arsenal as well, as it would massively improve the club’s depth at centre-back.

Vivian should indeed provide ample competition for Gabriel Magalhaes and at the age of 22, he has lots of room to improve, not only in terms of his defensive qualities but also in a more technical sense including passing and build-up. Therefore, the Athletic Bilbao star fits the bill perfectly for the Gunners, although his €40 million release clause could be an obstacle as well, as the defender is yet to play a full season in the Spanish top-flight.

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