Arsenal are reportedly ready to make a summer swoop for Dan-Axel Zagadou of Borussia Dortmund, with Mikel Arteta keen on defensive reinforcements.
Duncan Castle, in his Transfer Window podcast, has offered an update in Arsenal’s pursuit of Dan-Axel Zagadou. The Borussia Dortmund centre-back has emerged as one of the potential options for Mikel Arteta, who is keen on bolstering his defensive unit in the upcoming summer transfer window.
The Gunners have already missed out on of their top targets in Dayot Upamecano as the RB Leipzig defender has chosen to join Bayern Munich. Upamecano’s Leipzig teammate Ibrahima Konate has also been linked with a move to Liverpool, so Arsenal have now set his sights on another French defender in Zagadou.
A former member of the PSG youth academy, Zagadou has been a part of Borussia Dortmund since 2017. He was brought in by Peter Bosz as a long-term prospect. The Frenchman subsequently enjoyed a relatively rapid rise to prominence in the Bundesliga, impressing the onlookers with his imposing frame in defence as well with his ability to read the game and neutralise threat on the counter.
Unfortunately, Zagadou’s progress at Dortmund has been halted by a series of injuries as the French defender has suffered a total of ten different spells on the sidelines since moving to Germany. It has kept him out for a combined total of well over a year, while the player himself has fallen down the pecking order following the addition of Manuel Akanji as well as the return of Mats Hummels.
Arsenal, however, are not deterred by Zagadou’s injury record and see the 21-year-old as an ideal target, particularly due to his massive 1.96m frame, that makes him a titan in aerial and physical duels. It should help him easily settle into the physically astute nature of the Premier League.
However, what makes the Dortmund centre-back such an appealing option for Arsenal is his technical quality. He can read the game and has impressive composure on the ball. It makes him a useful outlet in the build-up play, with the Frenchman also being versatile enough to operate as a left-back.
It should be extremely useful for Mikel Arteta as the Arsenal manager looks for a new defender following the January departures of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis. Another experienced star in David Luiz has his contract expiring at the end of the season, although reports earlier this year suggested that the Gunners would be open to extending that deal for a further season.
Either way, Zagadou serves as an interesting option for Arsenal, although the club really needs to be wary of the player’s price tag, especially considering his injury-prone nature as well as the fact that they might require the additional savings to fund a permanent move for Martin Odegaard, who is reportedly valued at €80 million by Real Madrid.