Arsenal are interested in a deal to bring Evan Ndicka to The Emirates.
That’s according to a report by Italian media outlet Il Romanista (via TEAMtalk), who claim that both AS Roma and Arsenal are keeping a very close eye on the situation of the Eintracht Frankfurt centre-back, whose current deal at the Deutsche Bank Park is set to expire at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.
However, the report goes on to suggest that it is Mikel Arteta’s side who currently appear to be leading the race for the 23-year-old’s signature, with the former France U21 international being able to sign a pre-contract with a potential new club upon the turn of the year – should he not sign a new deal at Eintracht in the time between.
With Gabriel Magalhaes currently being Arteta’s only left-footed centre-back in his first-team squad – with William Saliba, Ben White and Rob Holding all being right-footers – it is easy to see why the Spaniard would be interested in a move for Ndicka, especially if he is available to sign on a free.
Indeed, since joining the Bundesliga side from AJ Auxerre back in 2018, the 23-year-old has quietly established himself as one of Europe’s leading defenders, with FBref ranking the £28.8m-rated talent in the top 4% of centre-backs in Europe’s big five leagues for blocks per 90, as well as the top 11% for aerial duels won, the top 19% for clearances, the top 14% for blocks, the top 30% for tackles and the top 40% for interceptions over the last 365 days.
However, it is not in defensive metrics in which the £8.6k-per-week starlet has impressed most, with FBref also ranking Ndicka in the top 5% of centre-backs for assists per 90, in addition to the top 19% for non-penalty goals, the top 27% for shots, the top 28% for dribbles completed and the top 39% for passes attempted over the last 12 months – proving his capability in the opposition penalty area and in bringing the ball out from the back.
As such, while Gabriel has been impressive in the heart of Arsenal’s backline alongside Saliba so far this season, it is undeniable that the player who Christopher Michel dubbed both a “leader” and “incredible” would make an exceptional addition to Arteta’s options at left centre-back – especially if he were to be available to sign on a free, just months after boasting a reported €28m (£24.5m) price tag.
And, with both Saliba and Ndicka being Frenchmen, the signing of the Eintracht star could well see the duo form something of a defensive French connection at the Emirates – something that will no doubt be an incredibly exciting prospect for everyone involved with the Gunners considering their history of impressive imports from across the channel in the past.