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Arsenal in the hunt for 79-cap Croatian veteran – A bad move to sign an ageing player?

Why Arsenal should stop their pursuit of Domagoj Vida

According to Turkish outlet Aksam (h/t Birmingham Mail), Arsenal are considering a summer move for Besiktas centre-back Domagoj Vida.

The 31-year-old Croatian is believed to be the highest-paid player at Besiktas and earns around £55,000-a-week in wages. However, with the financial implications of the coronavirus affecting many clubs including Besiktas, they have now said that Vida would be available for €10million.

Besiktas centre-back Domagoj Vida celebrates after his side's victory.
Besiktas centre-back Domagoj Vida celebrates after his side’s victory. (Getty Images)

Having made his debut for Croatia back in 2010, Vida has played 79 matches for them across all competitions and still remains one of the key members in their back-four. He has been part of 8 of Croatia’s last 10 matches and even captained them in one of the matches. This speaks volumes regarding his worth in the national team line-up.

Similarly, he has been a key member for Besiktas and has started in 25 of their 26 league outings this season. Vida just missed one match due to a suspension and has 8 clean sheets to his name.

Veteran centre-back Vida in action for his national side Croatia.
Domagoj Vida in action for his national side Croatia. (Getty Images)

He has been a regular feature in the Besiktas line-up since moving to Turkey from Dynamo Kyiv in January 2018. To date, he has made 88 appearances for the Turkish outfit and has also contributed to the side with 8 goals, giving a clear indication of his talent.

His consistency in defence has made him one of the first few names in every team that he has played so far, including his national team.

Arsenal need a younger face at the back unlike veteran Vida

Arsenal are in need of a consistent face in the defence after the side’s dismal show in the league this season. A weak and inconsistent defence has seen the side slip to a lowly 9th place in the league.

Mikel Arteta shakes hands with his Arsenal players. (Getty Images)
Manager Mikel Arteta shakes hands with his Arsenal players. (Getty Images)

Despite roping in veteran and experienced centre-back, David Luiz, from Chelsea last summer, nothing much has changed for the Gunners. The Mikel Arteta led side also have veteran Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi with them, who are seasoned campaigners.

However, they both have been error-prone in recent times that Arteta had to rope in centre-back Pablo Mari from Fluminense on loan until the end of the season.

That said, a consistent performer like Vida could be an excellent stop-gap solution for the Gunners. However, it will do them no good in the longer run. Vida turned 31 last month and is at a ripe age.

Arsenal defenders Sokratis (L) and Shkodran Mustafi (R) look on. (Getty Images)
Arsenal defenders Sokratis (left) and Shkodran Mustafi (right) look on. (Getty Images)

Arteta’s side have enough veterans already and adding one more like Vida to that list would not help them in the long run. Hence, Arsenal must stop their pursuit of Vida and look for a younger option.

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Verdict

Arsenal have as many as five centre-backs in their side, of which two are already past their thirties. There is no doubt Vida is a proven customer. However, he is definitely ageing and Arsenal do not need more veterans in their side given their displays this season. They could rather invest that money on someone young, with an eye on the future.

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