The Arsenal fans in the Transfer Tavern are looking forward to a new era following Arsene Wenger’s departure and they are hoping their new manager can make a handful of quality signings to ensure a smooth transition is complete.
The Gunners finally waved goodbye to a true legend of the club on Sunday afternoon as Wenger signed off on his career in North-London with a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium. Arsenal will now look forward to the future and plan for their next chapter which is bound to feature a number of wholesale changes in the months to come.
The arrival of Sven Mislintat in November 2017 was Arsenal’s first major step in attempting to improve their transfer strategy, and so far he has enabled the club to secure a handful of additions. Arsenal’s first foray into the market with their new head of recruitment saw them secure the services of the relatively unknown Greek youngster Konstantinos Mavropanos during the January transfer window.
The 20-year-old had to bide his time for an opportunity before he was eventually thrown in at the deep end for his Premier League debut against Manchester United at Old Trafford last month. Considering his lack of experience at this level, Mavropanos coped with the pressure extremely well and was rewarded for his performance with a further two starts against Burnley and Leicester respectively, although he was controversially given his marching orders against the Foxes for a rash challenge on Kelechi Iheanacho.
Mavropanos will certainly learn from his experience and return a stronger player next season, and the arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly (valued at £45 million by transfermarkt) could further aid his progress and form the basis of a future centre-back partnership. According to the Daily Express, Arsenal are interested in signing Koulibaly from Napoli this summer in a deal which could cost them £53 million.
The Senegalese international has been a rock at the heart of Napoli’s defence this season with his combination of defensive intelligence and physical prowess, whilst his passing accuracy has been a standout feature of his game. Learning from a player of Koulibaly’s technical ability is bound to catalyse Mavropanos’ development and hand the Gunners a centre-back pairing from which to build their team, so the club should do everything they can to prise him away from Napoli this summer.
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