According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal boss Unai Emery has identified Torino centre-back Nicolas Nkoulou as a possible transfer target for the January transfer window.
The Gunners have suffered from defensive problems for a good while now. Their attempts to solve the problem last summer saw Sokratis and Stephen Lichtsteiner arrive in north London. However, in truth, neither player was a massive leap in quality to the players already in situ at the club. Emery’s side has conceded 31 times this season, which for a team chasing a top-four spot is a massive amount of goals.
Enjoying a strong season in Turin
Nkoulou has enjoyed a strong season in Turin after joining Torino on a permanent basis for just 3.5million Euros in the summer following a successful loan spell from Lyon.
At 28 years of age, the Cameroon international is a highly experienced centre-back, who has played for Monaco, Marseille and Lyon prior to moving to Italy. The defender has also won 75 caps for his country in an international career spanning more than a decade.
Would be a gamble
I have to say that Arsenal have a number of mediocre centre-backs, with Sokratis the latest in the line of players who looked good elsewhere but have proven shaky for the Gunners.
I am not sure that Nkoulou would be any different. Granted he does have decent experience in the European and world game, and he is enjoying a positive campaign with Torino. I cannot say that I watch Nkoulou play every week for Torino. However, the question would be is he a massive step up from what the Gunners already have in the squad? I am cannot answer that definitively.
However, I do not want to see Arsenal sign another player that flops again. Who knows he may be the answer to the Gunners defensive problems. However, for me, he would be a gamble of a signing.
Arsenal need to improve defensively
The Gunners are now odds of 10/3 to finish in the top-four. The fact fourth-place Chelsea have had a tendency to slip up of late makes finishing in the Champions League spots a realistic possibility. Arsenal boss Unai Emery recently stated himself that the Gunners need to improve defensively, whether that is through new personnel or the players that are already at the club.
The January transfer window will no doubt cause a lot of speculation about who Arsenal want to sign and Nicolas Nkoulou could just one of the hundreds of names as touted as the Gunners next signing. I doubt this story will come to anything in the end.
Would Nicolas Nkoulou be a good signing for Arsenal?