July is fast approaching, and that means one thing, the transfer mill is up and running again.
Arsenal will be one of the big teams looking to improve their side this summer, and an interesting rumour has cropped up about the north London side.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the Gunners, as well as Manchester United, are interested in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti as the Catalan club are looking to offload one of their three defenders in an attempt to step up their efforts for Dutch wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt.
Although Arsenal faces stern competition from United, who would be in a better place financially to sign the French World Cup winner, the Gunners could have a helping hand in the form of club director of football Raul Sanllehi, the same man who brought Umtiti to Barca.
As well as Sanllehi, Umtiti is good friends with Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette as the duo both came through the Lyon academy together and starred for the French side.
So what are the potential consequences of the Gunners signing Umtiti from Barcelona this summer?
Arsenal have their Van Dijk
It’s no secret that, last season, Liverpool had all the components to be title contenders if they could just have that defensive quality at the back. One year on and one Virgil van Dijk in the team later and look what’s happened.
Jurgen Klopp’s persistence to sign the Dutch centre-back has resulted in Liverpool’s best shot of the Premier League title since the 2013/14 season, and this kind of signing is something Arsenal should take note of.
The Gunners have the attacking quality to challenge for the title, but just like Liverpool for some time, it’s the defence that is preventing such a goal even happening. Signing Umtiti, though, would change that, and paired alongside a Sokratis or Rob Holding, the Gunners will have the defence they need to push for their first league title in over 15 years.
Emery leads Arsenal in the right direction
Signing Umtiti will also push Arsenal in the direction many fans expected the Spaniard to take the club when he was announced as Arsene Wenger’s successor.
The Gunners might have only been out of the Champions League for two seasons, but getting back there has been the first goal for Emery as manager of Arsenal, and if he can’t manage now then he sure would with Umtiti in his side next season.
Signing a player of Umtiti’s quality and reputation would also send out a statement to players around Europe that Arsenal are a team worth playing for and a club that can achieve things in the future.
Umitit’s arrival could mean that one of Arsenal’s current defenders might leave the club, and it could spell the end for Laurent Koscielny with the Gunners.
There’s no doubt that the Frenchman is an icon of the club, a player who turned up as an unknown from Lorient in 2010 and has since come along to be not only one of the best defenders in the Premier League this decade but one of the best Arsenal centre-backs in their history.
However, with the now 33-year-old defender entering the final year of his contract and Koscielny nowhere near his best since his Achilles heel injury last season, Emery might be ruthless and cut the Frenchman from the team with the signing of Umtiti.
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