In a recent interview with in French newspaper Le Parisien, Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi talked about the club’s difficulty in signing promising young defenders from any part of the world.
With Arsenal well known for signing French youngsters, he was asked why they missed out on Raphael Varane, the highly-rated young defender who impressed everyone with his recent showings in Real Madrid colors, Grimandi explained that it is easier to scout attacking youngsters and difficult to sign defenders since their position requires a great deal of training and maturity which only comes by time.
“It’s easier to help a striker grow because you can ask him to do whatever he wants on the pitch and show off his talent.”
“Making a defender into a first team player takes more time because it’s a position which requires maturity, even if Raphael Varane is an exception.”
“To be honest, with the way we coach our defense there’s probably not much difference Varane or anyone else would make. Our current players aren’t bad, they’re just not a well-oiled unit like they need to be. Still, it’s a shame that we’re struggling to find good defenders, and perhaps this mentality of attack coming first really runs through everyone at the club.”