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Why Arsenal would be wise to target Van Dijk’s national team partner than Man United’s £30m star

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Arsenal should definitely sign Matthijs De Ligt over Eric Bailly

According to the Guardian, Arsenal have been linked with a move for £30m Manchester United defender Eric Bailly. The Gunners are currently undergoing a defensive crisis and are in dire need of a central defender.

Eric Bailly hasn’t been a regular feature under Jose Mourinho this season and slight injury problems have further hampered his start this season. The Gunners saw in-form defender Rob Holding suffer what could be a season ending injury two weeks ago.

Shkodran Mustafi hasn’t been consistent this season and Lauren Koscielny has just returned from injury. New signing Konstanstinos Mavropanos has also been out injured for a while. This leaves Unai Emery with just Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the squad.

The Gunners may need a centre-back but Bailly doesn’t seem like the right option given his current form. Arsenal should rather consider bringing in Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt. According to the Express, Manchester United were linked with a move for the 19-year-old.

Eric Bailly of Manchester United
Eric Bailly

De Ligt has been in glittering form for both club and country this season as his performances have turned a number of heads. He has truly excelled playing alongside Virgil Van Dijk in the national side and is his performances have been on par with the Dutch captain.

Just like the Liverpool defender, De Ligt is calm, quick and composed on the ball. The youngster also possesses a tremendous pace for a centre-back, probably more than Van Dijk as he outclassed even Kylian Mbappe in a battle.

What Arsenal need is a proper no nonsense defender like the youngster. He has shown immense maturity and potential in his display. The 19-year-old is also excellent at playing the ball out from the back. He is also very good at initiating attacks with his incisive passes.

Matthijs De Ligt

De Ligt has managed a pass success rate of 92.1% in the Dutch league this season. He is also a strong, agile and diligent defender. Another quality that further boosts his profile is his aerial dominance at both ends of the pitch. De Ligt has scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist 14 league appearances this season. He has also averaged 2.7 aerial duels per game. (Stats courtesy – Whoscored)

Read more: Ideal replacement for Rob Holding? Arsenal should go ahead with their £10m pursuit of this 23-year-old Spaniard

The defender definitely possesses the energy and drive to flourish in Unai Emery’s system. Arsenal should certainly make a move for the young prodigy. He would prove to be a massive signing for the Gunners.