Arsenal are reportedly interested in Hoffenheim’s Swiss defender Fabian Schar, but face competition from La Liga outfit Valencia.
Getfootballnewsgermany cite a SportBild report claiming that Arsenal are eyeing a move for Swiss defender Fabian Schar of Hoffenheim. The centre-back is attracting interest from Arsenal and Valencia and his employers Hoffenheim are prepared to part with the player for a fee close to €10m.
Valencia’s interest is largely due to the speculation surrounding the future of their star German defender Shkodran Mustafi. The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Premier League club Arsenal with reports of Chelsea also entering the race to sign the player. AC Milan were rumoured to be in the process of launching a bid for the German defender after reportedly receiving a €100m war-chest from their new owners. Mustafi looks like he is likely to complete a move away from the Mestalla and the club have identified Schar as his replacement.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have lined up the Hoffenheim defender as an alternative to the Germany international. The Gunners’ defence has been riddled with injuries ahead of the new season and Arsene Wenger’s men find themselves going into the season opener against Liverpool with just two fit centre-backs in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers.
Schar did not perform too well in his debut season in the Bundesliga, with an average rating of 6.67 in his 24 league appearances. However, the central defender shone for the Swiss national team at the recently concluded European Championships, boasting an average rating of 7.51. He also scored a goal and won Man of the Match in one of the four matches (stats via whoscored).
The Swiss international is a ball-playing defender with a strong ability to block incoming shots and attacks, who has also been lauded for his concentration on the pitch. Arsene Wenger would be pleased with the defender’s strength in terms of passing and his general ease on the ball, but the French manager should be wary of Schar’s weakness in the air before making an approach for the player.
The 24-year-old, though, could prefer Arsenal over Valencia as fellow international Granit Xhaka may be able to influence the player’s decision in the Gunners’ favour. In addition, Schar would cost only €10m, which is significantly less than the amount the club would need to spend on Mustafi.