Monday, October 2, 2023

Arsenal Are Showing Interest In This Gifted Defender: What Will He Bring To North London?

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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, Corriere dello Sport (Page 16) mentioned that Arsenal are showing interest in Dinamo Zagreb defender Josip Sutalo this summer. It has been claimed that the Gunners are eyeing a move to acquire the services of the Croat talent in this off-season.

Sutalo’s Impressive Run Of Form Back In His Homeland

Sutalo enjoyed a decent campaign at the Croat club after he put in a series of impressive displays at the heart of their backline. The 23-year-old participated in 36 matches for his current club last season, scoring three times in the process across all fronts.

The Capljina-born talent has been a consistent performer on the defensive end of the field based on his average of 2.0 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 4.3 clearances per 90 minutes in the UEFA Champions League. He was even been accurate when distributing possession from the back, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 86.8% in European football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at Dinamo Zagreb is set to expire in the summer of 2028. Hence, it won’t be easy for the Gunners to sign him on the cheap in this ongoing transfer window.

Josip Sutalo
Morocco’s forward Youssef En-Nesyri (L) and Croatia’s defender Josip Sutalo fight for the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup football third place play-off match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on December 17, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will Sutalo Bring To Arsenal?

Sutalo is a solid tackler of the ball and can time his challenges to earn the ball back for his team on the defensive third of the pitch. He usually clears the danger when the opposition are on the front foot. The Croatia international is a tidy passer of the ball as well. He is proficient at playing in both centre-half positions.

Sutalo will no doubt bring more bite and steel to Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta‘s midfield. He would even help the Gunners compete across all fronts in the coming seasons.

At 23, Sutalo has his best years ahead of him which makes him a decent choice for the North London club to pursue before the end of this transfer window. However, he would take some time to get used to the Premier League, so Arteta would have to be patient with his progress if he wants to get the best out of the player at the Emirates Stadium in the future.

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