Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Arsenal Offered The Chance To Sign Borussia Dortmund Centre-Back: Does He Fit Arteta’s Plans?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

According to recent reports from The Sun, Arsenal have been offered the chance to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji in the upcoming transfer window for a fee in the region of £21 million.

The Swiss international has reportedly lost his place to recent signings Niklas Sule (from Bayern Munich) and Nico Schlotterbeck (from Freiburg). Furthermore, following the sacking of Marco Rose, the centre-half is not a part of Edin Terzic’s plans at the Signal Iduna Park.

Akanji’s representatives are keen on securing a move to the Premier League, with the Gunners being their topmost priority. The £21 million asking price could drop further in the coming weeks, but it remains to be seen if Arsenal decide to capitalise on the situation.

Borussia Dortmund's Manuel Akanji
Dortmund’s Swiss defender Manuel Akanji plays the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig in Dortmund, western Germany, on April 2, 2022. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
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Having come through the academy at Swiss challenge club (Swiss football’s second-tier) FC Winterthur, Akanji joined FC Basel in the summer of 2015. Three seasons later, he signed for Borussia Dortmund for a fee in the region of €21.5 million, and it would be an understatement to say that his growth over the past few years has been impressive. The number sixteen was Marco Rose’s first-choice partner for 33-year-old Mats Hummels at the heart of BVB’s defence the past season as he started 34 games across all competitions.

The Wiesendangen-born defender managed to put up some awe-inspiring numbers on the board the last term – averaging 1.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 2.1 clearances, 0.6 blocks, and 5.7 long balls per 90 minutes in the German top-flight (taken over 26 appearances). With qualities like aerial dominance, concentration and tackling, he could be one of the best players in his position in the forthcoming years.

Does He Fit Mikel Arteta’s Plans?

Arsenal are reportedly in the market for a quality centre-back, but they are specifically looking for a left-footed centre-half to play second fiddle to Gabriel Magalhaes. On the other hand, Manuel Akanji is right-footed, making him unsuitable for the profile.

Flipping over to right-sided central defenders, the Gunners are spoilt with options as William Saliba is set to return to the Emirates from his loan spell at Marseille to challenge Ben White and Rob Holding for a place in the starting eleven next season.

“I belong to Arsenal, I still have two years left.” – the Frenchman said.

“I will be back with Arsenal. I have played zero matches and I still want to show them my true face and have the chance to play for these fans and this great club.”

“But it doesn’t just depend on me. In any case, to leave like this, would be a shame.”

(Stats from WhoScored)

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