Arsenal appointed Mikel Arteta as their new head coach last week and the Spaniard has wasted little time in outlining the areas of the squad he believes are in desperate need of reinforcing.
As per France Football (h/t The Metro), Arteta keen to add a central defender with his two most experienced centre-halves, David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, both struggling this season.
Shkodran Mustafi has featured only sporadically this term while Rob Holding has struggled to rediscover his mojo and maintain fitness since recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered 13 months ago.
Arsenal kept a rare clean sheet against Everton at Goodison Park last weekend, only their third of the current Premier League campaign to date, but the new head coach has prioritized defensive reinforcements next month.
Back in October, 90min.com (h/t The Sun) had claimed that Arsenal and Tottenham were looking at Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, who was frustrated with a lack of game time this season.
Joe Gomez, 22, was the first-choice centre-back to partner Virgil van Dijk at the beginning of last season. But he suffered a leg fracture in December, ruling him out until mid-April.
During his absence, Joel Matip excelled and retained his place in the side this season. But since Matip got injured, Dejan Lovren has stepped into the side at the heart of Liverpool’s defence.
This has seen Gomez suffer and the versatile defender has managed just eight Premier League games so far this term, starting just three. Even though the 22-year-old is a valuable member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad, it’s high time he starts playing regularly if he’s to unlock his true potential.
In that regard, Arsenal could provide Gomez with an escape route in January. The Gunners have been defensively all over the place this season and Gomez could help tighten up Arteta’s backline.
The England international is an experienced defender, who can play in different positions across the defence, something which should be valuable for the new Gunners boss.
As per WhoScored, Gomez averages 53.4 passes per game at an accuracy of 87.3%, including 3.2 long balls, 1.8 tackles, 1.6 clearances and 2.4 interceptions per game in the Champions League this term, figures which are a testament to his well-rounded attributes as a modern-day ball-playing centre-back in the making.
Gomez will try his level best to cement his place in Gareth Southgate’s England defence ahead of Euro 2020.
A move to Arsenal would certainly allow the 22-year-old to get regular opportunities and develop himself under Arteta. Hence, a January move to the Emirates would be ideal for the England international.
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