As deadline day nears, Arsenal still have much to do in the transfer market. What is quite worrying is the fact that they bought players out of order in terms of priority. It seems we may be in for a shocking season if we don't get defenders in. Buying Pepe is very good business but shouldn't we have focused on defenders first? To be honest, I really believe if we bought good defenders, including a left back, instead of Pepe, we would still have a good chance of finishing top 4. There isn't even a guarantee that he will hit the ground running. Maybe he stalls in the first month, what do we do then? Hope that Nelson and Holding turn into superheroes and carry us through the season? No. I have narrowed down the list of positions we need at a bare minimum. One center back, One right back, One left back. That is in order of priority. Many may think a left back is more important than a right back, but we have two left backs and 0 fit right backs. In doing so, I have listed center backs rumored with a move to Arsenal.
1 . Samuel Umtiti (Loan + Option to Buy) - This one is tricky. It seems the club want to let him go, but he wants to stay. Raul and the Barca chiefs had been rumoured to have opened discussions for a loan with an option to buy for €60 M. This transfer would only be worthwhile if we can keep him fit. I would love to have him but if his dodgy knees don't show signs of consistency, this would just be a waste of time and money. Otherwise, he is still a world class center back in my opinion.
2 . Dayot Upamecano (£75M) - This is very interesting to observe. It seems Arsenal made a bid of 55 million pounds earlier today and got rejected. RB Leipzig want around 75-80M which is pretty steep. I imagine the bid Arsenal made hinges on installments as usual. I don't think he is worth that much. Why not his center back partner, Konate? He doesn't get as much limelight so maybe his price is lower. Leipzig conceded the least amount of goals last season which is a good start. However, seeing as both are not even 23 yet, I wouldn't pay more than 60 million for them each.
3 . Daniele Rugani (Loan + Option to Buy) - A rumour that sprang a couple days back said Arsenal were in talks with Juventus. This looks highly likely as Juventus have an influx of defenders at the moment. He looks like a good option but not the defender that will take us to THAT level. However, almost anything is an upgrade at this point.
4 . Walter Kannemann (€25M) - This one is definitely from left field and the rumour came as early as January this year. At 28, he isn't exactly a spring chicken. He is experienced and very cheap. I read a scout report that said his main strengths are tackling and concentration while his discipline is a weakness. Not a bad start but I struggle to see how we massively improve with him. Is he THAT much better than Sokratis? I dont think so.
5 . Presnel Kimpembe (£30M) - This one is interesting because it came out a while after De Ligt was rumored with PSG. Now, since he has arrived at Juve, would the French champions be willing to sell? He is a composed, technically-gifted defender but sometimes can commit errors. At 23, he still has time to learn though. Even more appealing is the fact that he can operate as a left back as well. The price isn't too steep but seeing as PSG lost out on De Ligt, I suspect the asking price to increase.
6 . Michael Keane (€50M) - It had been reported that Emery sent scouts to watch him last season. He's a decent option, nothing glamorous but premier league proven nonetheless. His numbers are pretty solid for Everton but I doubt they would be willing to sell, this close to the end of the transfer window. Too little, too late in my opinion. It's a shame, he would've added to the "homegrown" quota.
7 . Dan-Axel Zagadou (€35M) - A BIG NO-NO FOR ME!! Here's why: (1) He is only 18, so unless he becomes a world beater instantly, it's a waste of time, (2) I've watched about 12-13 Dortmund games and HE HAS MADE CALAMITOUS ERRORS in EVERY SINGLE GAME, I'm not making this up. I'd rather his former teammate Diallo, but he's gone to PSG.
8 . Ruben Dias (£50M) - A VERY solid option in my opinion. He impressed in the Nation's League Tournament and is still quite young. This is one of the better options. He's strong, imposing and 22 years of age. The price is a little too steep for me though. This may not be the best option, but who knows?
9 . Ibrahima Konate ($??M) - This is probably the most solid 20 year old I've seen. The links have gone cold since February though. I expect his price tag to be the same as Upamecano, if not higher.
10 . Pape Abou Cisse (€7M) - I don't care that he's cheap, WHY, ARSENAL??? He looks okay, besides his height, I don't see what he brings to this team. He is still quite young though. I just have a bad feeling about this.
11 . Alejandro Grimaldo (£30M) - A great option. He's a bit too short and weak but he brings GREAT attacking and decent defensive output. At only 23, he can still blossom further.
12 . Malang Sarr (£25M) - Maybe Vieira can do us a favor over there at OGC Nice. Another solid option that can also operate at left center back. His one weakness, according to scout reports, is aggression. This isn't a big problem for me, he's strong and tall enough to equal lots of wingers in my opinion. His strengths are passing, marking, and anticipation, all good things for a full back. My favorite option in this category.
13 . Kieran Tierney (€30M) - The most talked about player in this transfer window. Although he is young and definitely capable, his injury is a BIG concern. Adrian Clarke talked about how he suffered the same illness (osteitus pubis) and how it took a YEAR for it to go away. Not looking good at all. I really don't wanna risk money on him. Maybe if he's fit in January, we should buy him then.
14 . Nicolas Tagliafico (£25M) - Another great option. It really looked like he was going to join before but he looks committed now. Solid defensively and a hard worker. May not have the attacking output of bellerin but still reasonable.
15 . Alex Telles (€30-50M) - Not sure if he would be willing to go to Europa League football. I'm sure Raul can convince him of the great project taking place however. This guy is QUALITY. At 26 he is about to reach his prime as well. He has great concentration, passing, crossing, and aerial duel supremacy. Price is steep but maybe we can pay in installments.
16 . Kevin Malcuit (€25-30M) - Looks decent enough. At 28, it's not like Hector's going to compete with him forever but by then Bellerin would have developed enough. Again, we really would need good persuasion for him to swap for Europa League.
I would pick Telles/Grimaldo, Rugani, and Malcuit. Would still love Konate but we would probably be priced out.
DID I MISS ANYONE?? COMMENT BELOW!!