The Arsenal boss was at the Mestalla to watch the defender as Valencia and Getafe shared the points in a goalless draw.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery is keen on defensive reinforcements in the summer, and it looks like the Spaniard has already taken matters into his hands to find the right players. Spanish publication, Daily AS reported the presence of Emery in the stands during the Valencia-Getafe game, and are sure, he was there to watch Getafe central defender Djene Dakonam.
Arsenal currently sits fourth in the Premier League table, courtesy of some impressive performances in recent weeks. Those games included home wins over Chelsea and Manchester United, their direct rivals for a top-four spot, as well as the away draw to Tottenham. The Gunners’ defence, which has struggled all season also has shown resilience with few clean sheets during these weeks.
Emery, however, would feel the need to change personnel in the new season as the current options might not be cut out for the long term. Additionally, Arsenal’s defence is an ageing one, and indeed at one point, new faces are expected. The London club did sign Sokratis last summer, and he has been the side’s best defender this season ahead of all others.
On the other hand, there’s Laurent Koscielny, whose advancing age has not slowed his game, as seen in recent displays. But the general understanding is that the Arsenal captain might not be cut out to play the many games a season demands. It’s not to say he won’t be there at the club next season, although some others might not.
Emery’s target at the Mestalla was Djene Dakonam, the Togolese central defender, who was on Arsenal’s radar last season. Dakonam has been in imperious form this season for Getafe, helping them climb upto fourth on the La Liga table this season. One big reason for their impressive form has been the defence, which has conceded only 24 goals from the 28 games played so far.
As for Dakonam, since moving to Getafe from Belgian side Sing – Truidense, the defender has been a mainstay in the starting lineup. Dakonam made 36 league appearances last season while he is already on course to match that number having made 26 from 28 this season. Playing those many games in a top league surely would attract interests of the biggest sides.
Arsenal might have to contest with Barcelona, who were reportedly interested in bringing Dakonam to the Camp Nou. Emery, however, could be confident of bringing him to the Emirates, after making clear of his interest last summer.
Last summer, Arsenal were quoted €35 million (£30 million), which is also Dakonam’s release clause, but considering Arsenal’s shoestring budget compared to those of their rivals, hence a deal was out of the question. This season, however, considering Arsenal do make it to the Champions League a more substantial budget is expected to arrive.
Dakonam has a contract with Getafe until 2021, and the club are perfectly placed to demand his release clause which still stands at the same number. With the Spanish side set for an European competition next season, they are under no pressure to sell their best players including the likes of Dakonam, although if an offer comes in that matches the release clause, they will be helpless.
For the performances Dakonam has displayed so far during his time at Getafe, he sure fits the bill for a role at Arsenal. As for who might be sacrificed from the Arsenal backline still remains a question,, although many a finger might be pointed towards Mustafi to be the chosen one.