Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could unearth his club’s new Sol Campbell in Eintracht Frankfurt powerhouse Evan N’Dicka.
According to German publication SportBild (via Sport Witness), the Gunners are interested in signing the Frenchman this summer, with the defender’s advisors said to be looking for a potential move to England for their client.
The report added that the Bundesliga club would be looking for a fee in the region of €30m (£25m) to part ways with the centre-back.
Campbell was part of the famous Arsenal side which went a whole season unbeaten en route to winning the Premier League in 2003/04, and it’s fair to say that the Gunners haven’t really had anyone since then match up to that level of quality and status.
There have been a number of pretenders to the throne, but in the 21-year-old N’Dicka, they could very well find the ideal man to do so.
A profile by Arsenal.com said of Campbell: “On the field, the east Londoner’s strength was his athleticism. His bludgeoning power and fearsome frame worked in tandem with fast-moving feet.
“And there was, strangely for a man of his build, serenity in the way he carried himself, too. He was never willing to throw in the towel and often appeared visibly hurt in defeat – characteristics that endeared him to his new fans.”
N’Dicka is in that similar mould of being extremely quick for a centre-back, but also having the physical power to deal with more rugged strikers too.
The 6 foot 4 beast is not only dominant in the air, winning 2.1 aerial duels per game last season in the Bundesliga, but is equally comfortable playing out from the back, averaging an 84.8% passing accuracy.
The centre-back has impressed his former manager Adi Hutter, who said: “I honestly have to say that I was surprised by his development. Evan has developed phenomenally. He’s very attentive in the analysis of his own game. He’s very modest and always takes a lot on board.”
Former Eintracht Frankfurt star Alexander Schur believes that N’Dicka “shows no nerves” and “plays with great authority” – a real indication of the kind of leadership he possesses, much like Campbell in his prime in the Highbury days.
The £25m-rated powerhouse could add some real quality to Arteta’s options at the back, and provide a real throwback to when Campbell was at the club.