According to TransferMarketWeb, Arsenal have sent scouts to observe Atalanta’s Gianluca Mancini after a string of impressive performances.
The Italian has been a revelation for the Serie A outfit this season; scoring and stopping goals with equal effect, the big centre-half has bagged three in seven starts and also chalked up an assist to help his side to eighth in the standings.
Meanwhile, Unai Emery’s start at Arsenal has seen the London club take 24 points from 12 games so far as they challenge for a tightly contested top-four spot, but the old problems at the Emirates under Arsene Wenger are rearing their ugly heads.
The Gunners still look vulnerable at the back as they have been hit with injuries and seen the likes of Shkodran Mustafi experience dips in form, and therefore the 2004 Premier League champions have been linked with a number of defensive targets in recent weeks – the latest of which being Mancini.
But what will the number 23 bring in red and white?
At 6ft 3in tall, the 22-year-old is a force to be reckoned with in the air and is a magnet to the ball in both boxes.
WhoScored lists his aerial duels as ‘very strong’ and his tackling as ‘strong’, also, and this is backed up by the numbers behind his game – the former Fiorentina man wins 2.9 balls in the air per game.
Adept at playing out from the back, the big man has an average passing success rate of 84.4% – an attribute nigh-on essential to featuring in an Arsenal back four, as the club are renowned for their fluid, possession-based style. Also capable of stepping out from the back to pick off a forward pass, the left-footer completes 1.4 interceptions per game (WhoScored).
Valued at just £1.8m by Transfermarkt, it is likely that Emery would have to stump up a fair bit more than that to acquire the player.