Should Arsenal Go For Nikola Maksimovic Of Napoli? They Probably Should!
Arsene Wenger has a couple of new problems after the international break. The inconsistency in the side’s results will push the manager to use his best XI for most games this season but that seems a bit too hard for the manager, who will miss first-choice centre-back Shkodran Mustafi for at least a month.
To add to it, skipper Laurent Koscielny is doubtful for this weekend, making their backline weaker. Wenger does have options to cover for the but not at the highest level and this has seen him scout for a defender, who he can pounce on in January. One such player now extensively linked with a move to the Emirates is Nikola Maksimovic.
According to reports from Football Italia, Arsenal are set to make an official move for the 25-year old after the transfer window reopens in January. This comes on the back of reports that young Calum Chambers has extended his contract with the Gunners. So it does look like Wenger wants to establish a defensive unit that can sustain pressure for years to come but does Maksimovic belong here?
Having moved to Napoli on a permanent basis just in 2016, the Serb has made just 12 league appearances in Serie A and is yet to start a game this season. He is only a backup for the Italian giants at the back but is more than capable of shouldering the responsibilities of the backline of a European outfit.
Known for his height and ability with the ball at his feet, the 25-year old is a strong passer of the ball and his awareness of the game allows him to put in tackles with ease. His ball interception skills and ability to stray away from committing too many fouls is just an added advantage.
He has to work on his aerial ability but for his height, he does win most balls thrown into the box, an attribute which is tailor-made for the English league.
He put in a decent performance in Napoli’s Champions League encounter against Feyenoord at home and is more than capable of playing at the highest level.
The likes of Mustafi and Koscielny are backed up by Per Mertesacker, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and even Nacho Monreal, who has done a decent job in the backline. But Maksimovic represents an upgrade on each of those names and at just 25, is only going to get better.
Wenger has turned his attention to securing his backline for the future and Maksimovic is as good an option as any. From the bench at Stadio San Paolo to the first team at Emirates is a good journey for the Serb.