Why Arsenal must make a January swoop for Fernando Calero
Back in December 2018, the Football Espana had claimed Arsenal were one of the clubs interested in signing Fernando Calero, who was then plying his trade for Real Valladolid.
Fernando Calero, 24, played a key role in Real Valladolid’s promotion from the Segunda Division in 2018, before playing in 36 of their 38 La Liga games last season. He impressed in the heart of the defence for Real Valladolid that led to him being linked to a series of big-hitting European clubs in the summer.
However, Espanyol came calling and sealed his signature before the start of the 2019/20 campaign. The Spaniard signed a five-year deal with Espanyol, with a new release clause set at €40m. Keeping that in mind, should Arsenal rekindle their interest and trigger Calero’s release clause during the winter transfer window?
Arsenal have once again struggled defensively, with experienced defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz not being consistent so far this season. Luiz has been very sloppy at the back, yet has the trust of manager Unai Emery, who has been under pressure since the defeat at Sheffield United.
Rob Holding returned from a long-term injury earlier this month and should be eased into the starting XI.
Calum Chambers is an option in central defence but he has done well at right-back this season and is expected to continue in that position for now. And while William Saliba will join the Gunners next summer, Emery can do well with some defensive reinforcements in January.
Fernando Calero could be that player. Strong in the air and in both boxes, Calero reads the game well and can make some crucial interceptions for his team.
If it’s a leader that Emery wants to strengthen a suspect backline then the Espanyol man would certainly be a strong option. He is assured in possession and more than capable of building attacks from the back.
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The Spaniard’s composure in possession belies his age and would certainly appeal to Emery’s desire to play out from the back at all costs, and some of his performances in Spain last season caught the eye of a number of top clubs.
If Arsenal are in the market for a promising defender to freshen things up, Calero should be on their New Year list.
Even if Calero joined Espanyol in the summer, a move to a top-six Premier League side would always be tough to turn down. Thus, Arsenal must go all out to sign the Spaniard.