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Arsenal’s best bet to solve defensive crisis would be to sign this powerful 22-year-old West Ham star – Opinion

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Arsenal FC Opinion: Why Arsenal should go all out to sign Issa Diop?

Arsenal need defensive reinforcements in the summer window and that’s something Unai Emery should prioritise.

Emery inherited from Arsene Wenger an unbalanced squad. The team had attacking riches but the defence was astonishingly poor to challenge for the title. Despite adding Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who undoubtedly has been their best defender this season, the Gunners appear so dysfunctional at the back.

Laurent Koscielny had been out during the beginning of the season following an Achilles tendon rupture. Although he has done well since returning back from the injury, the fact is the Frenchman is 33 and is clearly past his prime.

So are Nacho Monreal and Stephan Lichtsteiner. Both 33 and 35 respectively are deadwood Emery needs to offload in the summer. And then there is Shkodran Mustafi, who has been more of a miss than a hit for the Gunners since joining from Valencia in 2016.

Looking at the current scenario, Arsenal need a complete defensive overhaul which will take at least two to three transfer windows.

Emery needs to bring in young, promising defenders that can come in and make an instant impact at the club. With Calum Chambers set to return from Fulham in summer and Konstantinos Mavropanos waiting in the wings for his chances, the Arsenal manager would be wise to add a new centre-half in the form of West Ham’s Issa Diop.

Issa Diop, 22, joined West Ham from Toulouse in last summer’s transfer window and has been an inspired addition to Manuel Pellegrini’s squad. The Frenchman has featured in 28 league games for the Hammers this term, establishing himself as an integral part of manager Pellegrini’s plans.

The 22-year-old has impressed with his game-reading and tackling skills this season, whilst also showing that he has the physicality, positional awareness and the aerial ability to deal with quality strikers.

While Issa Diop is defensively sound, he has so much more to his list of growing skills which also includes great tactical presence and recovery pace.

Capable of playing out from the back, the former France youth international is a defender who has the ability to chip in with crucial goals as he has shown this season at West Ham. Diop’s towering presence and power make him an asset at both ends of the pitch. But at the moment, he is far from being a finished product.

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Emery could be the right man to iron out Diop’s flaws and take his game to the next level. The young French defender has proven to be worth every penny for West Ham so far and if Arsenal are to challenge for the title next season, they need to do everything possible to land Diop.

Hence, Emery should not hesitate to splash the cash to bring Diop to the Emirates this summer in a bid to solve their defensive crisis.

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Arsenal would find the ideal replacement for Aaron Ramsey by signing this 20-year-old Argentine dynamo

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Arsenal Opinion: Exequiel Palacios could be the perfect replacement for Ramsey

According to the Metro, Arsenal have emerged as the new favourites to sign 20-year-old Argentinian international midfielder Exequiel Palacios in the summer after new Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane pulled the plug on the youngster’s proposed move to the Bernabeu.

Madrid have been the frontrunners in the race to sign the highly-rated midfielder for quite a long time and the Los Blancos almost snapped him up for £20million last summer, only for the move to collapse due to an injury issue. (h/t Metro)

Metro, however,  understands that Madrid have withdrawn their interest in the 20-year-old and Arsenal are now looking at him as a like-for-like replacement for Aaron Ramsey, who is set to end his ten-year association with the Gunners this summer.  

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The same report claims that Palacios has a release clause of £18 million in his contract at River Plate, meaning that he would be well within Arsenal’s budget even if the Gunners fail to secure qualification to the Champions League.

Palacios has earned a spot in Argentina’s 23-man Copa America squad for the tournament scheduled to be held in Brazil this summer, and with so many top European clubs hot on his trail, the youngster might as well be tempted to put an end to his career at River Plate.

A product of the widely revered River Plate youth system, Palacios broke into the first-team as a 16-year-old back in 2015 and has progressed by leaps and bounds to establish himself as one of South America’s brightest emerging prospects.

The youngster, who has already been capped twice by Argentina at the senior international level, has also made a total of 49 appearances for River Plate in all competitions till date.

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He wasn’t a regular in the first-team till last season but Palacios has really come of age this term, making 14 appearances so far in the Argentine Primera Division. The 20-year-old has impressed with a goal and 4 assists in the league this season, while also earning rave reviews for his awe-inspiring all-around attributes.

Essentially a central midfielder by trade, Palacios is also versatile enough to play in a more attacking box-to-box role in the middle of the park, owing to his work-rate, flair, vision and creativity.

A technically-gifted midfielder blessed with high levels of stamina, incredible speed of thought and high levels of footballing intelligence for a player of his age, Palacios boasts of a wonderful range of passing and solid game-reading abilities.

He uses his flair and sharpness on the ball to create his own space and has already showcased the presence of mind to create chances with defence-splitting through balls, whilst also possessing the know-how to deal with the transitions in play.

Strong on the tackle and quick across the ground, Palacios is an excellent box-to-box midfielder in the making, very much in the mould of Aaron Ramsey.

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To put things into perspective, Palacios has a wonderful profile for a player of his age and Arsenal could have an absolute gem in their hands if they manage to strike a deal for him this summer.

It is a no-brainer that Unai Emery needs to revamp his squad this summer and reinforcements in central midfield and at centre-back are likely to be high on the Spaniard’s recruitment list for the summer, although the Gunners are expected to work with a tight budget.

Palacios won’t cost Arsenal a fortune but he could prove to be a tailor-made replacement for Ramsey in the long run and his attributes should perfectly suit Emery’s philosophy.

Arsenal brought in the likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira last summer but Ramsey’s departure is certainly going to be a big blow to the club in terms of work-rate and creativity. And Palacios has both in abundance, meaning that Arsenal have every reason to look at him as a viable option.

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While signing Palacios would be an excellent long-term investment, the Gunners can also afford to look at him as someone who could make an immediate impact in the first-team.

He is already a full international for Argentina and has considerable experience of playing for River Plate on the club front, so it should be a no-brainer for Arsenal to go all out in their pursuit of the Argentinian prodigy.

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Arsenal face Chelsea in the Europa League finals at Baku later in the month and a victory would not only see the Gunners cap off a promising season with silverware but also ensure Champions League football next term.

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Arsenal must pounce on the chance to sign this clinical 25-year-old winger to solve wide attacking woes – Agreed?

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Arsenal Opinion: Why the Gunners should go all out for Yannick Carrasco?

Dalian Yifang star Yannick Carrasco has given Arsenal a major transfer hint by admitting he is ready to move back to Europe. He also confirmed the Gunners’ interest during the January transfer window but had to stay put at the Chinese club due to some difficulties.

The Belgium international, 25, joined Dalian Yifang from Atletico Madrid in January 2018. He now wants a return to Europe ahead of Euro 2020.

Now that Yannick Carrasco has admitted his desire to return back to Europe, Arsenal must reignite their interest and sign him this summer.

The Gunners failed to finish in the top-four in the Premier League but have a chance to qualify for the Champions League next season by winning the Europa League.

They face Chelsea in the Europa League final and a win at Baku would not only become the ticket to Champions League but also boost Unai Emery’s budget by around £25million.

The summer transfer window has started in full swing and Emery is expected to bring in reinforcements to try and challenge for the Premier League title next term. The Spaniard’s first season at the Emirates could be deemed as a success as he had big boots to fill in following Arsene Wenger’s departure from the club after more than two decades.

Now, Emery must make this transfer window count by addressing the concerned areas of his squad. One of the areas is the wing department, with Arsenal lacking an out-and-out winger except Alex Iwobi. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil have been tried out wide, but none of them have delivered as expected.

Yannick Carrasco could be the solution to the Gunners’ wide department problem. He has been in good goalscoring touch in China having already netted seven goals and assisted once in nine games for Dalian Yifang.

That shows his clinical nature in front of goal and while he would take some time to adapt to the Premier League, there is little doubt that he would be a success.

The Belgian is blessed with electric pace and fantastic dribbling skills which makes him such a threat in the attacking areas of the pitch. Carrasco’s ability to hold the ball in tight areas suits Emery’s philosophy, while his final ball quality is miles better than Iwobi.

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The former AS Monaco and Atletico Madrid ace’s power and direct approach also would give the Gunners an option during counter-attacks. Not to forget, his versatility to play as a wing-back when required makes the 25-year-old such a handy option to have in the squad.

Verdict

Carrasco has solid European experience and is very effective in what he does, which means he can solve the problems in wide areas for Arsenal. Hence, it would make some sense if Emery signs the Belgian speedster in the summer.

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Next Eden Hazard? – Arsenal signing this mercurial Belgian star would turn their attack into one of the fiercest

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Arsenal Opinion: Trossard would be a masterstroke by the Gunners 

According to recent reports arising from The Mirror, Unai Emery’s Arsenal side are being linked with a potential summer move for Belgian left-wing sensation Leandro Trossard.

The youngster currently plies his trade for KRC Genk in the Jupiler Pro League in his home country but has been linked with moves abroad in the past as well. 

His statements prior to Genk’s last game of the season against Standard Liege pretty much summed up the situation and with the Gunners in the driving seat, this deal could well go through in the summer.

It has been suggested that a transfer away from Genk is on the horizon but the eventual destination wasn’t discussed. 

The Gunners are said to have been keeping their tabs on the youngster’s progress for quite a while now.

He is similar to long-serving English star Danny Welbeck, who is expected to depart the Emirates after a 5-year spell at Arsenal.

Welbeck’s imminent departure and the fact that a majority of the goalscoring responsibilities have fallen on the shoulders of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang means that the Gunners must make some serious moves in the upcoming transfer market.

One of the main problem areas of Arsenal this season has been on the flanks. While the defence has been nothing short of catastrophic, the lack of natural wingers in their squad has come back to haunt them this season.

To add salt to their wounds, Emery’s style revolves around balls being played into the box and if there’s nobody to deliver the crosses, the striker is never going to score.

Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have been the two players regularly used on the flanks. While the latter is also not a natural winger, the former’s inconsistencies have certainly deterred his progress in the Gunners side.

The addition of Trossard would come as a wake-up call to the rest of the attacking players at the Emirates. 

While Genk are said to be holding for a fee in the region of £20m, his figures this season certainly warrant that amount.

Having played 24 league games for Genk this season, the youngster has netted 11 times and he’s even managed to provide a further 4 assists. His disciplinary record is excellent too as he didn’t pick up a single booking all campaign. 

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Extremely creative and quick on the ball, Trossard has certainly come up in the footsteps of all the talented Belgian wingers that have recently come through the ranks.

While a comparison to Eden Hazard wouldn’t be fair, in due course, Trossard certainly has the potential to reach the same level and a move to Arsenal will be a step in the right direction for this young star.

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