Arsenal have reportedly identified Bayer Leverkusen defender Edmond Tapsoba as an alternative for priority transfer target Ben White this summer.
According to reputed Italian journalist Rudy Galetti, Arsenal are preparing contingencies in case their pursuit of Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White does not pan out, with Bayer Leverkusen youngster Edmond Tapsoba now emerging as Plan B.
It is no secret that Arsenal are in the market for defensive reinforcements as David Luiz was released after his contract expired while William Saliba is set for another loan spell away from the Emirates, with Olympique de Marseille emerging as his next destination. That leaves manager Mikel Arteta with just Rob Holding and Calum Chambers as options for the right-sided centre-back position.
So, Arsenal have been intent on bolstering their defensive department, with Brighton & Hove Albion’s Ben White emerging as a priority target. Indeed, the north London giants have already made a bid for the England international only to be turned down by the Seagulls, who are holding out for a fee in excess of £50 million.
Furthermore, things have been complicated by the fact that Arsenal have been joined by the likes of Chelsea as well as Manchester City in the race to sign White. Given the other two clubs would be able to offer him Champions League football, the Gunners find themselves at a disadvantage, with Galetti now claiming that a move for the 23-year-old might be difficult to pull off.
So, naturally, Arsenal are now seemingly keeping their options open rather than putting all their eggs in a single basket, with Edmond Tapsoba emerging as an alternative for White. The 22-year-old signed for Bayer Leverkusen in January last year from Portuguese outfit Vitoria Guimaraes and has made rapid strides over the past eighteen months or so.
To date, Tapsoba has racked up 61 appearances for Die Werkself, in which he has scored a couple of goals as well. The 14-time capped Burkina Faso international has impressed with his athleticism and physical attributes while he boasts of solid technical qualities on the ball as well, which would sit well with Arsenal’s philosophy under Arteta.
However, signing the young Bundesliga defender could prove to be tricky for Arsenal, considering as he still has five years left on his contract with Bayer Leverkusen, who would likely demand a premium for him given his age and potential. So, whether the Gunners press ahead with their pursuit of primary target Ben White or decide to switch their focus completely to Tapsoba in the coming days remains to be seen.