Why Arsenal should reignite their interest in Pape Abou Cisse
Eventually, the deal fell through as the Gunners went for other options in David Luiz and William Saliba to add strength to their backline. Saliba remained at Saint-Etienne on loan.
Pape Abou Cisse, who moved from AC Ajaccio in France to Olympiakos, rose to prominence with the club in 2017. He moved to Olympiakos in a difficult time when Kostas Manolas left for Roma. Since then, he has been rock-solid for the Greek outfit.
The 24-year-old made a wonderful start to his career in Greece but due to Tuberculosis, he has featured in just 3 matches in Super League 1 this season.
Arsenal wanted to sign him in the summer but later decided to go with David Luiz and William Saliba as a replacement for Laurent Koscielny, who left for Bordeaux. Since then, the Gunners have struggled to make amends.
The Gunners started the season well and later slipped out of the top four after a run of results. Their defence has been very leaky and has already conceded 19 in 13 games, worst by their standards. Except for Aubameyang, who seems to be scoring regularly, the team has not shown any individual brilliance.
Emery has come under the light for his poor game plan and seems to have run out of options in defence. Since joining in the summer, David Luiz has been prone to errors and has not shown the quality that he once possessed. Sokratis has been inconsistent and out of place on many occasions.
Gunners boss Emery seemed convinced with Rob Holding but he is yet to make an impact. Shkodran Mustafi has not been convincing either and has seen very few games.
In the January transfer window, if Arsenal are looking to bring in reinforcements to the backline, Papa Abou Cisse would rightly fit in.
The Olympiakos star has been a dynamic character for the past two years in the Greek league and isn’t intimidated by strong opposition. Cisse’s performances in the 2018 Europa League earned him a place in the tournament’s breakthrough team along with other young stars like Pablo Fornals, Giovani Lo Celso and Luka Jovic.
In Cisse, Arsenal will have a young centre-back who does not seem to be afraid of making rough tackles. The Senegalese centre-back has been superior in clashes and his 6ft 6in stature can be useful while going for aerial duels.
Thus, Emery must make no mistake in moving for the centre-back to restore defensive stability.