Why Alejandro Grimaldo can help Arsenal solidify their back-line
The Mirror has revealed that Arsenal are chasing after 23-year-old Benfica left-back Alejandro Grimaldo, as manager Unai Emery looks to strengthen his side. The Arsenal boss has already revealed that he wants another left-back in an interview with the Sun, and Grimaldo fits the former Sevilla boss’ criteria.
It is suggested that two other English giants Liverpool and Manchester City are in the race, however, it looks like as Arsenal are leading the battle for the Benfica starlet’s signature.
The Gunners need another full-back, with Nacho Monreal and Stephan Lichtsteiner on the wrong side of 30, and Hector Bellerin ruled out for at least another six months. This has caused a few problems of late for them. With the club failing to invest in January, the onus is on them to spend in the summer window.
Whether or not the lack of activity in January will affect their top-four chances, it remains to be seen. Grimaldo could any way arrive at the Emirates ahead of next season. The 23-year-old could be a worthy replacement for Nacho Monreal, and also a proper upgrade on Sead Kolasinac.
As a former winger, Grimaldo is offensively brilliant but like Bellerin, he has learnt how to adapt the modern-day demands of the game and become a fullback.
The Benfica starlet can also play as a left winger and even in central midfield. Despite him becoming a defender, the attacking instincts and making forward runs haven’t gone away. The Portuguese star uses his pace and athleticism to great effect while going forward. He is good at making recovery runs as well.
Furthermore, he’s a set-piece specialist by taking charge of a large majority of Benfica’s set-pieces since his debut. Grimaldo gets them right more often than not, be it scoring directly or dovetailing with a teammate’s run. If he comes to Arsenal, it will be a massive boost to the Gunners, who have struggled defensively. His set-piece expertise would be a kind bonus.
However, any move for Alejandro Grimaldo will have to be done with under duress with Manchester City, Liverpool among others in the race for the 23-year-old Benfica star. The Gunners will have to act fast on both the transfer fee and wages, especially given their rivals’ huge war-chests filled for occasions like this.