Borussia Dortmund defender Dan-Axel Zagadou wants to play again with former teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a transfer to Arsenal looms.
Arsenal’s summer transfer plans are well underway, and somewhat unsurprisingly Unai Emery’s side are linked with a host of French defenders. Add the name of Dan-Axel Zagadou to that growing list as Bild are reporting the Borussia Dortmund defender could be on the move as he reportedly wants a reunion with former teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal.
Arsenal’s season ended in massive disappointment after they finished fifth in the Premier League and abysmally lost the Europa League Final to London rivals Chelsea. Both those results mean Arsenal will not be playing Champions League football next season and have to endure a third successive season in the Europa League. This factor has ensured they have to play with a limited budget.
A reported sum of £45 million is being given to Emery to spend in the current window. That has led Arsenal to move away from elite players and target stars who could fit their budget. Their chase for central defenders has taken them to French shores with the likes of William Saliba of Saint-Etienne heavily linked as well as some other stars.
Arsenal’s leaky defence last season had been pointed for their failures previous season, and Emery is keen to solve the issue. Arsenal are targetting player with a young age profile with many of their current options above the 30-year mark. The likes of Laurent Koscielny, who is linked with a move to Dortmund and Nacho Monreal are 33-years-old, while 27-year-old Shkodran Mustafi is deemed surplus at the club.
Zagadou is the latest young French defender linked with a move to Arsenal, although this is one player Emery could quickly get according to reports. The 20-year-old reportedly wants a reunion with former Dortmund teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal, and he would certainly fit the profile of a player the Gunners are looking for.
Zagadou’s future at Dortmund remains uncertain as the defender believes he may not be an automatic starter at the club. Despite making 17 appearances in the league last season as Dortmund finished second to Bayern Munich, Zagadou was still only second choice under Lucien Favre.
Furthermore, the recent arrival of Mats Hummels from Bayern could further diminish his chances of playing in the starting-XI. Hummels is understood to be an undisputed starter, and his arrival could push Zagadou further back. Next season he could be fourth choice centre-back behind Abdou Diallo and Omer Toprak in the pecking order. Arsenal very well have the chance to snap up the defender.
Additionally, the William Saliba deal has its own complications, with Saint-Etienne looking to keep the player for one more season, albeit on loan. It means, Emery would still need to fill a central defence position in the side and Zagadou certainly fits the bill. Additionally, Zagadou might not cost too much money, something that would please Emery.
Now a transfer depends on Arsenal making an offer for the defender and certainly on Dortmund’s demands for the player. However, the understanding is the German club could allow Zagadou to leave after Hummels’ arrival, and it certainly could be good news for Arsenal and their plans to recruit a meaningful defender.