The upcoming summer transfer window promises to be one of the biggest in recent years for Arsenal, as they look to rebuild their squad in order to challenge for a top-four finish. The Gunners returned to action in their clash against Manchester City, but defensively they were poor, and Mikel Arteta’s side were ripped apart.
One of the biggest reasons for their poor performance was the poor showing from David Luiz. The Brazilian made a mistake that led to Raheem Sterling opening the scoring before he was sent off after conceding a penalty after dragging back Riyad Mahrez.
If there was ever a game that highlighted that the Gunners were in desperate need of a new defender, then this was it. Luiz is reportedly set to leave the Gunners this summer, which means the club will be in the market for a defender. But, who should they be targeting?
The name that all Gunners fans will be hopeful of bringing to the club over the summer will be RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano. The 21-year-old has quickly become one of the most exciting young players on the planet over the season as he has played an essential part in the club’s run to the latter stages of the Champions League.
There have been rumours that have been linking the Frenchman away from the club all season, and the Gunners will be hopeful that they can be the club to sign him. Upamecano will undoubtedly improve the Gunners defence.
This season he has won an average of 1.9 aerial duals per match and makes two tackles per games. Upamecano has also made 3.1 clearances per game and 1.5 interceptions. Signing the Frenchman would solve a number of issues that have plagued the Gunners over recent seasons.
The Gunners may instead target Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti. The Frenchman looks almost certain to leave Barcelona this summer, with the club needing to sell some of their stars before they are able to bring in any new players.
Umtiti has been unable to consolidate his position in the Barcelona line-up, and the Gunners will be able to make this transfer happen should they meet the asking price set by the Spanish side. Even though he hasn’t been a regular in the ‘Blaugrana’, Umtiti is a World Cup winner with the physical strength of a Kentucky Derby winner.
Samuel would add balance to the Gunners backline as he is left-footed and will be able to form a strong relationship with Kieran Tierney. The Frenchman has made only nine appearances in La Liga this season and 18 in all competitions.
He has picked up five yellow cards but has still impressed by winning 1.7 aerial duals per match. He has a pass completion rate of 92.7% and has won 0.7 tackles per match. Umtiti would be a player that all Gunners fans will be hopeful of signing this summer.
One of the more affordable options that Arteta may instead be tempted by could be for Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake.
The Cherries could be forced to sell the Dutchman if they are relegated this season, which means the Gunners could pick up the 25-year-old at a cut-price. He would certainly improve the Arsenal backline and has proven Premier League experience after playing over 130 times across the previous five seasons.
Ake could be the leader that the Gunners crave in the backline, and despite the Cherries having a disappointing season, he has still impressed. Ake has won 2.1 aerial duals per match throughout the season and averages one tackle per game in the Premier League. He has also made 5.4 clearances this season and averaged 1.3 interceptions per game. Arteta could do a lot worse than Ake over the summer.
Here we have it, the top 3 picks for Arsenal to sign this Summer in defence. Considering how other teams already have a couple deals done – see Chelsea with Ziyech and Werner – Arsenal should hurry up to not be outnumbered by their London rivals.