Why Ibrahima Konate would be an ideal signing for Arsenal in the summer
The French youth international made his move to the Bundesliga back in the summer of 2017, following a successful breakout season with Sochaux in Ligue 2. Konate hasn’t looked back since and has established himself as one of the key components in Leipzig’s back-line. He was used occasionally in his first season but has earned the role of a regular starter this term, starting on 16 occasions in the Bundesliga.
Standing at 6ft 4inches with a towering stature, the Frenchman has the perfect height for a centre-back. He is not only adept at beating his offensive counterparts to the aerial balls, but also knows how to use his physicality to good effect, keeping the opposition at bay with his superior upper body strength.
The youngster is quite agile for a player of his stature and has already shown signs of maturing into a commanding presence at the heart of the defence.
Konate averages 3.6 aerial duels, 1.8 tackles, 2.4 interceptions and 3.1 clearances per game in the Bundesliga this term, figures which speak volumes of his well-rounded abilities as a centre-back. A deeper insight into the statistics shows that he has completed 28 of his attempted 31 tackles, with the opposition managing to dribble past him only thrice in 16 games. (Whoscored.com)
In all honesty, he has shown maturity and composure that belie his tender years and it would be fair to say that the youngster is ready to take the next big step in his career.
To put things into perspective, he would be a wonderful signing for Arsenal, with the Gunners struggling for consistency at the back this season. Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have done a decent job after spending time on the sidelines due to injuries but the club needs to find a replacement for Shkodran Mustafi.
The German has struggled for both form and fitness under Unai Emery. He has never looked like the player who was a World Cup winner with Germany in 2014. Hence, the best option would be to replace him. On the other hand, Rob Holding is suffering from a long-term injury.
Hence, Arsenal need more options at the back ahead of the upcoming season to avoid a potential burnout and Ibrahima Konate would be a good understudy to Koscielny and Sokratis. That said, the Gunners should go all out to sign him.