Why Arsenal should’ve signed Djene Dakonam
Arsenal had their first loss of the league against big-six rivals Liverpool on Saturday. Despite showing a lot of promise in games prior to the one at Anfield, they still look like a work in progress.
One area of concern will be their porous defence. David Luiz did not have a great game, being heavily responsible for two of the 3 goals that were conceded on the day. What’s more alarming is the number of shots Arsenal had to face in the past two game weeks. There were 25 from Liverpool and 18 from Burnley at home.
Unai Emery will need to form a stronger defensive unit if the Gunners are to make progress on this season as Luiz clearly has his strengths with initiating attacks but won’t help that leaky backline.
Getafe were one of the more impressive teams in the La Liga last season and one of the reasons for that has been Dakonam’s performances at centre-back.
The La Liga side conceded fewer goals than every team in the La Liga, barring Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side, which should tell how you everything about them and Dakonam’s impact at the club.
The centre-back had a contract until 2021, which could have been a stumbling block but this is the sort of signing that Arsenal should’ve prioritized as their attack was as good as any other sides last season.
Dakonam is a solid centre-half. He doesn’t have the height but uses his intelligence to intercept and read play. When under pressure, he knows how to hold off the opposition players and is comfortable playing the ball out from the back.
His attributes also make him a great squad player. His speed allows him to play in any defensive position asked of him, be it at right-back or defensive midfield, which is an added bonus, much like new signing Kieran Tierney.
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The Gunners have been unfortunate to have lost Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin to injuries for long periods, which will be a massive plus as the season goes on.
However, having Dakonam would have changed the complexion of their defence on the whole.