According to a recent report from The Daily Mirror, Arsenal are interested in a January move for defender Fernando Calero. The 23-year-old currently plays his football at Spanish side Real Valladolid and has done so since leaving Malaga back in 2016, with his impressive displays in La Liga seemingly attracting the interest of Gunners manager Unai Emery.
And that’s because reports suggest that the North London giants are targeting a New Year move for the Spaniard, and with his release clause reportedly set at £10 million, it’s a bargain deal the Arsenal boss simply must seek to clinch in January in a bid to bolster his defensive ranks.
Ultimately, the recent injury to Rob Holding has left the Gunners somewhat short in the centre back ranks, especially given the Englishman was beginning to prove his worth on a regular basis to manager Emery with a string of commanding displays in the Arsenal backline.
Yet he looks set to miss the rest of the season following a serious knee injury he sustained in the North London derby earlier this month, which leaves Emery with Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, and Laurent Koscielny as his only senior centre backs.
And with the latter only just coming back from a lengthy injury spell of his own, and the former to turn 31 next year, it’s plainly obvious that younger reinforcements are needed in the heart of the Gunners defence, both for the present and indeed the future.
And Valladolid’s Calero certainly fits the bill after an impressive 12 months at the La Liga outfit, and with the defender potentially available for as little as £10 million, which is nothing in modern-day financial terms, it’s a bargain the club must seek in January.
The 23-year-old has proven his worth to Valladolid in the last 12 months or so in helping them win promotion to the Spanish top-flight last time round, appearing 23 times as they won promotion via the play-offs, but it has been his efforts in the top tier this term that have been particularly impressive.
And that’s because the centre back has started all 15 of their La Liga matches this season to help them to 12th place in the Spanish top-flight, with six clean sheets and just 15 goals against in that time underlining just how difficult they are to beat – Calero has played a key part in establishing that defensive solidity.
And at the tender age of 23, the Spaniard is only likely to get better under the guidance of Emery, with Holding’s meteoric rise under the new Arsenal boss this term something Calero must look at to know that working under his compatriot could elevate his game to another level.
Significantly though, his arrival would hugely strengthen Arsenal’s centre back ranks heading in the second half of the season, and given just how strong a start the Gunners have made under Emery this term, expectations are growing heading into 2019 – they must combat that by signing shrewdly in January.
And with 23-year-old Calero potentially available for just £10 million, it’s a bargain deal the Gunners must strike come the New Year.
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