Arsenal have reportedly been given the chance to rope in French right-back Kevin Malcuit from Napoli as a cover for the injured Hector Bellerin.
If the report by Daily Mail is to be believed, Arsenal have been handed the possibility of signing Napoli right-back Kevin Malcuit as a possible cover for Hector Bellerin. The Spanish full-back has been ruled out for up to nine months after contracting an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the fixture against Chelsea this month.
Emery has used Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the absence of Bellerin. But, the former prefers playing further up the pitch, while summer signing Lichtsteiner and Carl Jenkinson are only seen as backup options by the Arsenal boss.
Malcuit has made 13 appearances across all competitions for Napoli this season, following his £11 million move from Lille last summer. The 27-year-old’s current contract at Napoli lasts until the summer of 2022, but he could be allowed to depart in the final days of the transfer window, which comes as a bit of a surprise.
Elseid Hysaj, who has shared game time with Malcuit this season, has also been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Chelsea. Thus, if both players are allowed to leave, Carlo Ancelotti will have no natural right-back at his disposal.
The report, however, suggests that Malcuit could be allowed to leave late in the January transfer window. Emery has known about the potential of the 27-year-old defender from his time as Paris Saint-Germain’s manager, when the right-back was playing for Lille and Saint Etienne.
But, the transfer might turn out to be a difficult to pull off considering Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, is infamous for being a tough negotiator. The fact that Arsenal will be plotting a loan move also makes it all the tougher to secure the transfer ahead of this week’s deadline.
With a lack of funds, this would be a trial by fire for Emery. But, a move for Malcuit looks unlikely for Arsenal to secure, particularly at this late a stage in the ongoing transfer window, especially seeing Napoli are not just hoping to retain two right-backs, but also secure a replacement at the same time.
Arsenal will thus, be left with Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson and Maitland-Niles as the right-back options for the remainder of the season.