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Arsenal Opinion: Gunners should trigger Alderweireld’s release clause

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are eyeing a shock transfer swoop for Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld in the summer, with manager Unai Emery reportedly keen to bolster his defensive ranks.

The 30-year-old Belgian will be available for just £25 million in the summer due to a clause in his contract and Arsenal are amongst a host of Premier League clubs who are looking to capitalise on the situation.

Man United and Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in Alderweireld, whose contract at Spurs runs until 2020 (h/t Daily Mail). Arsenal have other options to add depth to their backline but the acquisition of Alderweireld for £25 million would be a massive bargain for the Gunners.

The move, if it materializes, would see the Belgian join the elite group of stars who have featured for both Arsenal and Spurs, which already includes the likes of Sol Campbell, William Gallas, David Bentley, Emmanuel Adebayor and Pat Jennings.

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Arsenal have shown plenty of promise in their first season under Unai Emery and it would be fair to say that the Gunners have lived up to the expectations in what was supposed to be a season of transition following the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign.

The north Londoners have already taken a step closer to the semifinals of the Europa League and are still very much in the race for a top-four finish.

As much as they have promised in the attacking third, Emery’s attacking and pressing philosophy has exposed the holes in Arsenal’s vulnerable backline. In fact, defence has been a major Achilles Heel for the Gunners in the Premier League this season and they have hardly had all their defensive options at their disposal due to injuries.

Rob Holding started off strongly in the absence of Laurent Koscielny but the duo switched roles on the treatment table soon after. Konstantinos Mavropanos has endured a season marred with injuries while Shkodran Mustafi has not helped Arsenal’s cause with his lacklustre displays at the back.

Sokratis and Koscielny have looked pretty solid in recent weeks but Arsenal need to bring in radical reinforcements at the back this summer if they are to build a squad capable of challenging for silverware.

To put things into perspective, Toby Alderweireld perfectly fits the bill at Arsenal.

The 30-year-old Belgian has once again been in terrific form for Spurs this season and he undoubtedly has 2-3 years remaining in his prime. Also, the fact that he is going to be available for a measly amount should make it an exciting proposition for the fans.

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Alderweireld boasts of a mammoth 386 appearances for Spurs, Atletico Madrid, Ajax and Southampton and his arrival would certainly add a lot more steel and depth to Arsenal’s backline. Although he is not a great tackler and often struggles to judge the trajectory of aerial balls, the Belgian would be a perfect fit for Emery’s system owing to his ball-playing abilities.

To add to his calmness and composure in possession, Alderweireld is someone who excels with his positional awareness and good reading of the game. He has got high levels of composure, something that Arsenal have lacked at the back all season.

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A move to the other half of north London is very much a possibility for Alderweireld and Arsenal should look beyond their traditional rivalry and go all out to land the Belgian in a deal that would be a massive bargain for the Gunners.

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