Unai Emery could target a new defender in January following the inconsistent performances of Shkodran Mustafi.
The defender has never really fulfilled expectations since joining the Gunners from Valencia back in 2016 for a fee of around £35m. Mustafi’s great performances have often been overshadowed by displays of poor defending under Unai Emery. Club legend, Alan Smith, added this week that it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Arsenal replace the German in the near future.
The January transfer window is now less than a month away, and Emery will have the opportunity to strengthen his backline.
Top of his shortlist should be Benfica defender – Ruben Dias. Valued at £25.2m by Transfermarkt, the youngster has developed into a key player for the Portuguese side since breaking into first-team after graduating from their youth academy. Dias has made ten appearances in the Portuguese league this season as well as featuring in four Champions League games.
Despite being just 21-years-old, Dias displays maturity beyond his years and has already worn the captain’s armband for his side. His leadership qualities would add some much-needed stability to the Arsenal back four. The Portuguese is also a massive threat in the air, winning 4.1 aerial duels per game this season, meaning he should have no issues adapting to the physicality of the Premier League (WhoScored).
The defender is still developing and improving, working with a world-class manager like Emery would only aid his development. In a squad of Arsenal’s quality, Dias could become a mainstay in their defence for the next decade.
Arsenal fans, thoughts?