The Daily Mirror claims that Arsenal are interested in signing Mainz central midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin, who reportedly is rated in the £30million-bracket by his current employers. The Mirror claim that he would be an alternative to signing Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti. However, he has started just one league game this season at centre-back.
Who is Jean-Philippe Gbamin?
Gbamin is a 23-year-old Ivory Coast international, who is in his third season with Mainz after joining from French club Lens for a fee of around £4.5million. He has impressed in the Bundesliga with Mainz, which seems to be a breeding ground for players and coaches who go on to bigger things in European football.
Gbamin is a versatile player, as he can play as both a centre-back and central midfielder. Versatility is also a good asset in any player, especially one that may take up a big chunk of your summer transfer budget.
Arsenal need to sign an out-and-out centre-back
While Gbamin may be versatile and young, he is not necessarily an out-and-out centre-back. Arsenal needs to sign a readymade centre-back, who will fit straight into the team and not have to relearn how to play in the position.
The Gunners already have enough players in their current squad that don’t know how to play at centre-back without adding another one to the list. He may be a good addition as a central defensive midfielder. However, one of the priorities this summer is signing a new centre-back and not necessarily a defensive midfielder.
Umtiti would be a good signing
If Samuel Umtiti is a realistic target for Arsenal, then he would be a great signing for the Gunners. The French World Cup winner is a very good centre-back, despite failing out-of-favour at Barcelona.
The main reason the Catalan giants would sell the former Lyon star is that they are eying a move for Ajax’s highly-rated young centre-back Matthijs de Ligt. The reigning Spanish champions have already signed his teammate Frenkie de Jong.
The noise’s coming out of the Spanish media seem to believe that Barcelona are confident of signing De Ligt this summer. With Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet in situ already, Umtiti may well become surplus to requirements.
Arsenal would not be alone in chasing his signature, though. Manchester United and Juventus are reportedly monitoring the Frenchman’s situation in Catalonia.
Looking at it from the realistic point of view, I cannot see either Umtiti or Gbamin joining the Gunners this summer. Hopefully, they will be able to reinforce the team and squad to be competitive next season.
Will Jean-Philippe Gbamin be plying his trade at Arsenal next season?