Why Kalidou Koulibaly Would Be An Excellent Addition To The Arsenal Defence
Arsenal, having missed out on a ‘Top 4’ finish for the first time in two decades, are sweating on the future of their key players, particularly Alexis Sanchez, as the Chilean superstar has refused to extend his current deal that runs out next summer. The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mesut Ozil are also reluctant to sign new contracts but Arsene Wenger, the veteran Frenchman who extended his stay for further two seasons, is adamant to keep hold of his stars despite their willingness to achieve Champions League glory.
The Gunners have already concluded a couple of crucial deals as they have acquired ex-Schalke left back Sead Kolasinac on a Bosman transfer and French hitman Alexandre Lacazette for a club record fee of £52.7m from Ligue1 heavyweights Olympic Lyon following consecutive high-scoring campaigns.
As per latest reports, Arsenal are now considering strengthening their backline and have sighted the £25.50m rated Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly as one of their prime transfer targets. The 26-year old Senegalese international was previously linked with Chelsea, but the move, however, fell through as Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri blocked it and Koulibaly eventually ended up signing a new contract offer that extends his stay until the summer of 2021.
Arsenal had defensive concerns last year despite early promises shown by their defensive duo Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi. Per Mertesacker is set to retire next summer and Gabriel failed to earn Wenger’s trust due to his inconsistency, indiscipline and injury concerns.
Calum Chambers is set to depart amidst interests from several Premier League and Championship outfits following an unsuccessful loan spell with relegated Middlesbrough. Young defender Rob Holding stepped up towards the end of the previous season, but the Gunners must find another experienced centre-back prior to the forthcoming campaign and Koulibaly would be an impressive signing, if the Arsenal gaffer manages to strike a deal in the coming days.
The 6ft 5in centre-back is hailed for his physical and aerial presence, strong tackling, blocking and intercepting skills. He reads the game well and builds it from the back with his strong passing attribute, much similar to Wenger’s style of football. Although the Gunners will find it extremely hard to conclude a deal in absence of Champions League football, they, however, are not worried about breaking the bank this term and have successfully landed their preferred options so far.
Wenger shifted to a ‘back three’ formation towards the end of last season that helped them finish their campaign on a high note by clinching a record 13th FA Cup title, defeating Premier League champions Chelsea. Koulibaly will fit straight in their ‘three-man back-line’ alongside ‘Kostafi’ and his presence will make the North London heavyweights favourites to return to the top four and regain a place in the prestigious UEFA Champions League.