Unai Emery should be prioritising defensive reinforcements when the transfer window reopens in the summer.
The Spaniard has made a decent start to life as Gunners boss but their defensives woes are still present. Indeed, injuries have taken their toll in recent weeks, however, Shkodran Mustafi’s erratic displays cannot be ignored. With Laurent Koscielny approaching the end of his career, Emery should prioritise signing a new central defender when the transfer window reopens.
Reports in the Mail suggest that the former Sevilla boss will only be handed £45m to strengthen his squad during the summer. However, his budget will be bolstered through sales of fringe players. Mesut Ozil also faces an uncertain future at the Emirates and his departure would generate some valuable funds for Emery to reinvest in his squad.
One man he could look to sign is West Ham rock – Issa Diop. Valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, the Frenchman is a new arrival at the London Stadium having signed from Toulouse in the summer. The France U21 international was hugely impressive in Ligue 1 and made an excellent start to life in England. Reports from the Daily Mail a while ago suggested that Paris St Germain were interested in bringing the youngster back to France in January but Diop ultimately stayed put in east London.
The 22-year-old is an excellent tackler, averaging 2.3 tackles per game this season in the Premier League, more than any other Arsenal player this season. Diop also reads the game superbly, allowing him to step out of defence to make 1.7 interceptions on average. His physical presence means that the Frenchman is a dominant force in the air, winning 2.3 aerial duels on average (WhoScored).
Diop is still developing and improving – he will only get better under the tutelage of a world-class coach like Emery.
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