Whatever way it is looked at, Arsenal’s defence has been a real issue for the club for a long time.
Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas may have been harsh, however, he was brutally honest when he said Unai Emery had “done a remarkable job with a bottom-six Premier League defence.” But, it should not be a comment that causes surprise, as those remarks about their backline have become something of the norm.
Going as far back as 2014, Arsene Wenger came in for some of the same criticisms that still surround the club five years later and it is truly mind-boggling to understand how that can still be the case for a club with the stature of Arsenal.
It is not just poor performances that have affected any chances of improving at the back, as serious injuries to the likes of Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny and Rob Holding have all hit the Gunners hard in the last 12 months alone, however, there hardly appears to have been any suitable cover for those options.
At least this summer it would seem Emery is looking to address the issues once again, despite the arrivals of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos a year ago, as William Saliba, Kieran Tierney and Samuel Umtiti have all been linked.
However, incoming technical director Edu Gaspar appears to have urged the club to look at signing an experienced Brazil international to help solve their issues at right-back.
According to Fox Sports Radio Brazil (via Sportslens), Edu believes Fagner could be a solid back-up option for Bellerin and provide the young Spaniard with the much-needed competition in the first-team that many would have hoped Lichtsteiner would have produced. As it turns out, the Switzerland international struggled and has since left the club after just one year.
The 30-year-old, who is currently playing in his homeland with Corinthians, has experience of playing in European football as he was once on the books of PSV Eindhoven and VfL Wolfsburg and was once touted with a move to Barcelona in 2016.
According to the traits within his game highlighted by WhoScored, there is every reason to feel the Brazil international can help Arsenal at the back as well.
It is claimed he is strong when it comes down to blocking the ball and putting in tackles, which are excellent skills to have when playing out wide, whilst he can link up the play with those further forward as he has the ability to play key passes to his team-mates.
The Gunners looked weak down the right-hand side of the pitch at times last season, as the likes of Lichtsteiner and Alex Iwobi really struggled to make a significant impact on proceedings, something Manchester City exploited with ease in February.
Having an experienced professional like Fagner at the back might help to solve those woes and his knowledge could be something passed down to the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bellerin moving forward.
Arsenal fans, do you think the club should listen to Edu’s recommendation? Let us know below…
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