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Even with the impending capture of St. Etienne defender William Saliba, Arsenal's summer of discontent shows no sign of abating.
The Gunners have been rebuffed, even embarrassed, in their attempts to sign Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace. Meanwhile, Kieran Tierney remains firmly at Celtic. And they're no nearer bringing in a centre-back for the here and now.
Saliba, at 18, is one for the future regardless of his £30million price-tag. That much was confirmed when it became apparent the teenager would remain on loan with the Ligue 1 club next season in order to continue his development.
The trouble for Emery and the Gunners' recruitment staff is their prohibitive £45million transfer budget. Failure to win the Europa League final, therefore missing out on qualification for the Champions League, has cost them.
Borussia Dortmund‘s Dan-Axel Zagadou is reportedly an Arsenal transfer target. But at £27million the Frenchman would eat up more than half of the cash available to the North Londoners this summer. Sampdoria defender Joachim Andersen was another defensive option but the Dane looks set to join Lyon.
The Premier League transfer window shuts on August 8, meaning Arsenal now have less than a month to bring in a much-needed central defender. Using Football Whispers' lab, we've identified five potential options for the Gunners.
- 1 Emiliano Velázquez – Atlético Madrid have a thing for Uruguayan centre-backs. While Diego Godín left for Internazionale this summer, José Giménez remains at the Wanda Metropolitano. There was previously another, Velázquez. The 25-year-old Montevideo native left Atleti in 2018 to join Rayo Vallecano having previously turned out for Los Franjirrojos on loan during the 2017/18 campaign, making 25 appearances and scoring twice as they won promotion from the Segunda Division. Last season Velázquez and Rayo made the step up to LaLiga, appearing 18 times for the Madrid-based side. His statistics make for impressive reading. No LaLiga centre-back averaged more interceptions (3.31 per 90) while he was second for tackles (2.32). One area he will have to work on is his distribution. Attempting just 35.64 passes per 90, a completion rate of 69.5 per cent was underwhelming and Arsenal defenders are expected to play out from the back. Alexander Hack – Mainz
- 2 Armando Izzo – Torino
- 3 Unai Núñez – Athletic Club
- 4 Jérôme Boateng – Bayern Munich