Arsenal must use head of recruitment Sven Mislintat’s Bundesliga connections to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Dan-Axel Zagadou in a bid to secure defensive solidity for the foreseeable future.
Unai Emery has worked hard to shore up a previously leaky Gunners defence after taking over from Arsene Wenger in the summer, bringing in the steel and experience of Sokratis and Stephan Lichtsteiner, respectively – however, both are in their thirties and young blood must be brought in to provide a long-term partner for Rob Holding.
The Spanish boss, otherwise, pins his hopes on Shkodran Mustafi who is too error-prone to be relied on week in week out – the German has been criticised for his reckless decision making against Crystal Palace and Bournemouth, most recently.
Like Emery, Mislintat was brought on board in the summer and his impact was more or less immediately felt as a tabled contract offer to Aaron Ramsey was swiftly withdrawn (there is no evidence that his arrival had anything to do with this but it seems too unlikely to be a coincidence) and the likes of Lucas Torreira were signed – the Uruguayan, in particular, has been impressive.
The former Dortmund chief scout could use the relationship he has built with BVB to sign one of the club’s most promising talents.
Zagadou has made eight appearances for his side in the league this year and averaged a match rating of 7.47 – bearing in mind he is only 19 years of age, this alone makes for impressive reading without dipping into his in-depth statistics.
At 6-foot-5, the Frenchman is a force to be reckoned with in the air as he wins 4 aerial duels and completes 5.9 clearances per game but, despite his large frame, can get across the ground quickly as well – he completes 2.4 interceptions on average (WhoScored).
The Arsenal philosophy has always been to play attractive passing football and the left-footer would have no problems adopting this as his passing success rate sits at an impressive 89%.
Rarely can a centre-half so well rounded be found and Emery must swoop for the dominant youngster in January to strengthen the Gunners’ defence for the next decade.