Forget Mustafi – Is This Portuguese Veteran A Good Alternative To Arsenal?

While Manchester United seemed to be in the running for the signature of the Portuguese central defender Jose Fonte, Arsenal have also joined the race for the talented centre-back, which might seem a little weird, given that the club were also vying for Shkodran Mustafi of Valencia.

In fact, Arsenal were in advanced talks with the 24-year-old German and it seemed set that he was to be the next player to join the club but Fonte could provide a great option for the Premier League side.

The one big issue could be the age of the defender. Fonte might have a lot of experience of playing in England but he is not the youngest defender in the Premier League and that could be a sore point for Arsenal at the moment.

The London club could argue that they have a couple of young defenders already in the team in the likes of Gabriel and Rob Holding who can grow in the coming years and the experience that Fonte has of playing through the English league system would obviously help the young guns at the club.

Fonte also did pretty well for Southampton last season and winning the Euro 2016 championship is another feather in the cap of the much travelled defender but Arsenal is a different team compared to Southampton and playing for them would be a completely different experience.

What Arsenal actually need at the moment is a defender who will grow into the team and provide Laurent Koscielny with the backup and performances he needs to thrive. Mustafi, being young at the moment, will give the Gunners a player that can be part of the team for a number of years.

The World Cup winner is also great on the ball and is one of the best in the world; after all, not everyone can be part of this German side. It is a bit of a surprise as to how Shkodran has not been picked up by another big club given Valencia’s financial problems over the years.

Shkodran also does have a bit of experience of playing in England, many might not know but he was at Everton from 2009 to 2012 but did not make a league appearance for the Premier League side. He moved to Sampdoria in 2012 and then joined Valencia in 2014.

Mustafi would certainly fit into any top side in the world while Fonte would just provide cover for the main defenders at the moment in the Arsenal side. Per Mertesacker might not be the best in the world but he too is pretty similar in terms of experience and playing style when compared to Fonte and bringing the Portuguese to the team, even if he is available for around £8 million does not make a lot of sense for the club.

The German should be the player that Arsenal go for, he has age on his side and can work wonders alongside Laurent Koscielny but in all probability, and Arsene will not spend any money at all in the transfer window and still stick with Rob Holding and Calum Chambers till the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker return.

Written by Kevin Harrison

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