As the January transfer window slowly unfolds, Arsenal have been linked heavily with two players who could potentially boost the back line of the team. One of them is RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, young (21), talented, perceived by most as an old fashion centre-back – a player who ‘loves to defend’ as they say.
Adding such a player to the ranks probably wouldn’t solve much straight away. Every player who changes clubs, let alone leagues, needs time to adapt, to absorb the teachings and the tactical demands of the new coaching team. Experienced players usually get the hang of these issues much quicker than younger ones, and to expect a 21-year-old to come in and notably improve a defence that has been looking frail (to put it mildly) for years would seem a folly.
But there can be very little doubt for anyone who has seen this kid play on a regular basis, that with time, patience and the right approach, we could be looking at a great defender of the future. Together with William Saliba, due to arrive from loan in the summer, Upamecano could potentially be Arsenal’s solution for the centre-back partnership for the next decade.
His contract expires in 18 months and no price for his services has been quoted by any remotely reliable source, but it seems this might prove a hitch with a number of top European sides reportedly interested as well.
But what about Jerome Boateng? As you may have read, Arsenal have reportedly approached Bayern Munich to ask questions about his availability, wages and a possibility of an initial loan.
The former Germany international would most likely be the better option in the short term. Given that he has played in the Premier League before and what he has been through since, the 31-year-old would probably adapt to the new challenges much quicker and with his experience make the back line stronger very soon.
He is, apparently, available for just €15 million, and that seems like an opportunity the Gunners shouldn’t miss. His arrival might speed up Shkodran Mustafi towards the exit door, but let’s face it, Mustafi has never really convinced anyone that he’s good enough for a top Premier League side.
Signing both Upamecano and Boateng would be the dream scenario, but it remains an unlikely one.
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