Arsenal Opinion: Gunners should look at Lukas Klostermann to provide cover for Bellerin
According to claims from Football Espana, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid are set to go head-to-head in a transfer tug of war over RB Leipzig right-back Lukas Klostermann, with reports claiming that the Gunners are closely monitoring the German’s development.
Football Espana understands that Atletico are currently on the lookout for a new right-back to cope with the departure of Juanfran and manager Diego Simeone has identified Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin as a potential alternative, although it is understood that the Gunners are highly unlikely to sell one of their better players amidst an ongoing defensive crisis.
It is still unclear whether Arsenal are looking at Kolstermann as someone who could provide cover and competition for Bellerin or as a direct replacement should the Spaniard depart the club. Either way, the emerging transfer rumours look pretty exciting on paper, possibly enough to get the fans at North London off their feet.
Lukas Klostermann has been a revelation in German football ever since his move to the Red Bull Arena from VFL Bochum back in 2014. The right-back was a part of the club’s promotion-winning campaign in the second-tier three years ago and has been a key figure in the club’s unprecedented rise in German football in recent times.
The 23-year-old, who has already been capped twice by Germany at the senior international level, recently impressed for his nation at the European U-21 Championship in Italy.
A key component of the German side that won the silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Klostermann’s impressive performances in the Bundesliga over the past couple of campaigns have seen his stocks soar sky-high.
Klostermann contributed with 5 goals and 3 assists in 40 appearances across all competitions this past season, as RB Leipzig qualified for the Champions League with a third-place finish in the Bundesliga.
The 23-year-old has racked up a total of 124 appearances for Leipzig in all competitions since making his debut back in 2014 but he might as well be on the move this summer, with Atletico Madrid and Arsenal both weighing up moves for him.
To put things into perspective, Arsenal making a move for Lukas Klostermann shouldn’t depend on whether Bellerin departs the club, given that the German international is more than capable of challenging the Spaniard for a role in the first-team.
Moreover, Bellerin’s long-term injury last season should probably have reminded the club hierarchy that relying solely on a single player in a particular position can prove to be a costly mistake.
Unai Emery was forced to use youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles as a right-back due to the absence of Bellerin the last term, with the likes of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Carl Jenkinson not doing enough to earn the manager’s trust.
As things stand, it looks unlikely that either Jenkinson or Lichtsteiner would be a part of the Gunners set-up for the upcoming campaign, meaning that Emery is in danger of being left with Bellerin as the only specialist right-back in the ranks.
While a new centre-back and a long-term replacement for Nacho Monreal at left-back continue to be high on the manager’s wish list for the summer, bringing in Lukas Klostermann could also be a step in the right direction.
The 23-year-old has carved out a big reputation for his dynamic style of play in the Bundesliga and he might as well prove to be a good fit for Emery’s philosophy.
Standing at 6ft. 2 inches with a well-built frame, Klostermann is taller than an average right-back but he is really adept at tearing the opposition apart with his lightning pace and acceleration.
Strong on the tackle, dominant in the air and blessed with good game-reading abilities, the German not only excels with his ability to break up the play and clear the danger but he also has a propensity for scoring, as well as, setting up goals.
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Still only 23, Klostermann is not quite the finished article just yet but he is highly-rated and one would expect him to get better with time.
While keeping hold of Hector Bellerin should be a top priority for Arsenal, investing in the German international could also reap rich dividends for the Gunners in the years to come.