‘He’s a ready-made player’ – Pundit wonders why Arsenal have snubbed ‘absolute bargain’ defender
Former Premier League footballer Danny Mills has criticised Arsenal for not making a move for Spurs centre-back Toby Alderweireld.
Alderweireld’s contract has a peculiar clause installed which stipulates that the defender has a £25m release clause, following Tottenham’s decision to activate the option of a one-year extension – leaving the Belgian vulnerable to offers from elsewhere – according to reports.
The duration of that clause is set to expire on Thursday night – and ex-Leeds United defender Mills is at a loss to explain why the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United have passed up on the chance to bring in Alderweireld.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “He’s a ready-made player. It’s an absolute bargain. How Manchester United are not coming and banging down the door, how Arsenal are not banging down the door and saying ‘we want this player’, I have no idea.
“It’s a no-brainer for me. People will say you’re going to lose money, yeah you are but you’re going to do that if you bring [in] loan players, for me.”
The 30-year-old was part of the Tottenham side that reached the Champions League final last year as well as the Belgium squad that finished third at the last World Cup – so despite the lack of cup-winning pedigree in England, the centre-back has enjoyed some success to a certain degree since arriving in north London.
Arsenal have instead opted to bring in teenage defender William Saliba from Saint-Etienne with a deal reportedly worth up to €40m (£35.7m) – in what seems to be a show of faith in the long-term prospects of the youngster, who is set to re-join his current club on loan once the deal is completed.
With the Gunners defence conceding over 50 goals last season and the lack of a heavy transfer kitty, there could be an argument to suggest that spending £25m on Alderweireld could have gone some way to bolstering their defensive ranks in the short-term – especially with Laurent Koscielny going AWOL in recent weeks.
But as the window of opportunity to get the Belgian in for what would have been an affordable price at the start of the summer closes, it seems as though Mills believes that the Gunners will be left rueing not taking advantage of nabbing one of their rivals’ players on the cheap.
Indeed, perhaps the idea of signing a player direcetly from your greatest rival sounds a tad far-fetched but it was mooted by Ian McGarry on the Transfer Window Podcast via the Daily Express earlier this month.
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