Arsenal are leading the chase for Hamburg defender David Bates, according to printed version of The Sunday Mirror (October 21) via The Daily Record.
Unai Emery may have bolstered his defensive ranks in the summer by signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner but the Spaniard is still on the hunt for further additions for his Arsenal squad, if reports are to be believed.
According to The Sunday Mirror via The Daily Record, Arsenal lead the likes of Southampton, Everton, Leicester City and Watford in the hunt for Hamburg’s 22-year-old defender David Bates – who left Rangers on a free transfer in the summer.
Dubbed ‘the ginger Ramos’ by the second-division German side, Bates has impressed scouts this season after helping Hamburg to keep six clean sheets and sit fourth in the standings after ten games played.
Eyebrows will certainly be raised by the suggestion that Arsenal are in the hunt for a new central defender as the Gunners have Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny – now back in training after injury – as experienced options, while Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos are amongst the younger contingent at the club.
Calum Chambers is also still on the books, spending this season on loan with Fulham, and a move for Bates suggests that a major defensive shake-up is on the cards that could see Emery approve a number of exits from the club.
Koscielny, currently sidelined through injury, has entered the final 18 months of his deal and Arsenal have struggled to find a long-term replacement for the France international. Bates, playing in the second division, is unlikely to solve that issue and his signing could instead lead Chambers to sweat over his long-term future.