Arsenal make enquiries about Juventus’ Medhi Benatia

According to Italian publication Tuttomercato, Arsenal have enquired about a deal for Juventus’ Medhi Benatia.

What’s the word?

The Moroccan is reportedly unsettled due to a lack of game time as, despite featuring heavily for the Serie A champions last season, he has been usurped by the return of Leonardo Bonucci in the Juve backline and has made only five appearances.

In competition with Andrea Barzagli and Daniele Rugani for minutes, the 6ft 3in brute is apparently keen on a move away as he feels he should be getting regular first team action.

Speaking to La Stampa, the defender said, “I can hardly play a game every so often. Last year I did well because I had more continuity. Unfortunately now I do not have it and this is part of my job, I always have to work to make myself ready, but it is not a pleasant situation. […] I’m 31 and I have to try to play as much as possible. Let’s see in January what will happen”.

Arsenal are impressing so far this campaign after going 14 games unbeaten in all competitions but, despite bringing in Sokratis Papasthathopolous from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, Unai Emery is reportedly unsatisfied with his defensive options and he sees Benatia as a potential solution.

A rock at the back

The 31-year-old averaged a match rating of 7.25 in the Serie A last season, with 1.4 tackles; 2.4 interceptions and a massive 4.3 clearances per game (WhoScored).

Returning to the line-up in November 2017 after being sidelined with injury and fitness issues, the former Bayern Munich man played a big part in turning the Old Lady defence into an impenetrable beast as his side conceded just one goal in 11 league games, taking 31 points from a possible 33.

The Morocco international’s performances were acknowledged by Goal.com, who named him in their team of the season, however Massimiliano Allegri has bizarrely shown little faith to the number 4 since.

Arsenal would be getting a vastly experienced defender for a potentially bargain price as he enters the final two years of his current contract, and his arrival would allow Emery to say goodbye to the unreliable Shkodran Mustafi.