Arsenal’s suspect defence this season has cost them plenty of points, and they are keen on addressing the problem by eyeing a move for Mainz defender Abdou Diallo.
The culprit to Arsenal’s disastrous season barring their run in the Europa League could be easily pointed at their suspect defence this season. The Gunners have conceded 46-goals in 34-games so far this season, which is more than any of the top-7 teams, including Burnley.
This poor form at the back has contributed efficiently to derail Arsenal’s season once again and ending any hope of a top-four finish, way before the end of the season. Arsenal fans have been calling to reinforce the defence for quite a few seasons now and it looks like the club are ready to address the issue.
According to The Sun, Arsenal have identified Mainz centre-back Abdou Diallo as a possible target this summer, who could aid the club’s push to perform better next season with other fellow Arsenal defenders. The 21-year old French defender has made 25-appearances in the Bundesliga this season and a further three in the DFB-Pokal for strugglers Mainz.
Arsenal’s new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat’s growing influence is evident as yet another player from the German league is linked with Arsenal. He has become influential in transfer business of late and was instrumental in bringing former Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Arsenal in January.
It is understood that Diallo’s link comes after he has identified the young defender as someone who could provide ample cover and play in place of ageing Arsenal defenders Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal. Arsenal, this season, have been over-reliant on the defensive pair, and Mislintat feels Diallo could help take some of the load off their shoulders next season.
Arsenal were also linked with a January move for the young French centre-back but decided to sign Greek youngster Konstantinos Mavropanos instead. However, Arsenal have not cooled their interest in Diallo and could yet make a move for the centre-back in the summer.
Earlier in the week, there were some reports of how Arsenal would have a restricted budget for the summer window after spending high fees and salaries on recent recruits in last summers’ window as well as January. This could also be a reason why Arsenal would go for Diallo, who would be a cheaper option.
Another potentially cheaper defensive option for Arsenal could be signing Johnny Evans from West Brom, who could be reportedly available for as affordable as £3 million if The Baggies are relegated from the Premier League. Arsenal were heavily linked with the Northern Ireland International, but a bid was turned down by West Brom.
The Gunners could be back in for the centre-back in the summer alongside other Premier League rivals including Tottenham. There were earlier reports that Evans could yet reject the Gunners in favour of a move to Manchester City in the summer.
Whether Diallo will be signed to add the cover to an ageing and clueless Arsenal defence or will he be something of an investment for the future considering his age and potential is something Gooners would have to wait to know. Although, it is a good move by Arsenal identifying defensive reinforcement ahead of next season.