Arsene Wenger, who is looking to boost Arsenal’s defence, has chalked Kalidou Koulibaly as a possible summer signing, according to reports from the British media.
The Gunners have suffered in their title race this season due to their defensive weakness and manager Arsene Wenger wants to strengthen the back-line by signing Koulibaly.
The Senegal international has been a rock at the heart of the defence for the Partenopei this season, as Maurizio Sarri’s team conceded just 32 goals in 38 league matches.
With Calum Chambers likely to be loaned back to Southampton, Wenger is said to be looking to bring Koulibaly to Arsenal in order to partner with France international Laurent Koscielny, according to The Telegraph.
Germany centreback Per Mertesacker and Brazilian defender Gabriel Pailista have been too inconsistent this season, as Arsenal failed yet again to pose any serious threat in the Premier League title race.
To top that off, both of Wenger’s first choice centrebacks (Mertesacker and Koscielny) are now in their 30s, and Wenger will be keen to get some young blood in the back-line. Also, there is a shroud of uncertainty over Mertesacker’s future at Arsenal, as the 31 year old has just one year left on his contract at the Emirates.
Arsenal face some tough competition to land Koulibaly, as Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United are also reportedly looking to sign the Senegal international. The Gunners could have the upper hand over their rivals in the Koulibaly transfer saga, as they can offer Champions League football, which the other two clubs cannot.
Koulibaly’s knack for learning
Along with Gonzalo Higuain, Kalidou Koulibaly has been one of the best players for Napoli in the 2015/16 season. However, Koulibaly was not always the outstanding defender that he is today.
After making the switch from Racing Genk to Napoli for £5.25 million, Koulibaly took quite some time to adjust to life at the Stadio San Paolo. In fact, Napoli conceded an astounding 54 goals from 38 league games in the 2014/15 season — the highest in the top half of the league.
However, it was after Maurizio Sarri took over from Rafa Benitez as the manager at Napoli, that Koulibaly really started to show the world what he can do.
The defender has improved his game manifold, and simply terrorises opposition attackers with his gigantic frame in the heart of the defence. His good performances this season have helped Napoli become the second best defence in Italy after Juventus.
Koulibaly has shown that he is a player who thinks about his game, and is always prepared to work on it, in order to improve. Making the switch from the Serie A to the Premier League might require Koulibaly to tweak his game a bit more, but with proper guidance, the Senegal international could go on to become one of the best centrebacks of his generation.