Arsenal can complete Arteta’s Man City center-back plan by outbidding Tottenham for a high-IQ acquisition.
The Gunners are looking recruit a lot of players after coming up short in the 2022/23 season. Arsenal’s choices at center-back have been limited this season due to William Saliba’s season-ending injury in March.
Following the Frenchman’s injury, Rob Holding stepped in for six games. The Gunners surrendered 13 goals in these games. Jakub Kiwior, who joined in January, has since shown hints of what is to come.
Nonetheless, Arsenal’s defensive frailties have been cited as one of the primary causes for the club’s Premier League title demise. With the summer transfer window approaching, Mikel Arteta is likely to look for defensive reinforcements.
With Champions League football returning to north London, sports director Edu Gaspar faces the difficult task of investing on excellent defenders.
Manchester City’s center-back choices, which include John Stones, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji, and Ayemeric Laporte, can provide an indication of what Arsenal will need to compete on all fronts next season.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Arsenal are interested in Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Edmond Tapsoba. Since going to Germany in 2020, the defender has been linked with a move away from the Bundesliga in every transfer window.
“Arsenal and Tottenham scouts have monitored Tapsoba in recent games but the race is absolutely open – Bayer will only sell for a huge bid.”
The 23-year-old, who has been compared to Bundesliga veteran Jerome Boateng, is one of the world’s sharpest footballers, speaking six languages, including English.
Arsenal would be making a wise investment if they made a play for the defender. When compared to his positional rivals in Europe’s top five divisions, Tapsoba is in the 84th percentile for passes blocked and the 86th percentile for tackles won high up the field, according to FBREF.
On the ball, the Burkina Faso international ranks 89th for completed passes, 91st for passes into the final third, and 95th for progressive carrying distance.