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Arsenal Opinion: Michael Keane would be a massive coup for the Gunners

According to the Sun, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are set to go head to head in a transfer tug of war over  £50million-rated Everton centre-back Michael Keane in the summer.

Mauricio Pochettino has reportedly made Keane a top priority in the summer as he prepares for life without Toby Alderweireld, with the Belgian having only one year left in his current contract and attracting interest from other clubs. (h/t Sun)

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has also set his sights on the 26-year-old English international in a bid to shore up his leaky backline, the Sun understands.

A youth product of Man United, Keane rose to prominence with Burnley before earning a £25 million move to Goodison Park in 2017. After struggling initially in his first season at Everton, Keane has hit top gear in the Premier League this term and has been a standout performer at the heart of the Toffees backline.

His upturn of form has seen him return to the international stage for the Euro 2020 qualifiers, scoring his first senior goal in the Three Lions’ 5-1 demolition of Montenegro during the recent international break.

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Keane has starred at the back for an Everton unit that has looked vulnerable defensively and his links with Arsenal and Spurs come as little surprise.

Having excelled in the Premier League as home grown talent for a number of years, Keane would be an ideal signing for both the north London sides but a move to Arsenal might be a more exciting proposition for the player, given that the Gunners have struggled for consistency at the back this season.

To put that into perspective, Arsenal would bag a massive coup by beating off competition from their bitter rivals to get their hands on the 7-cap English international in the summer.

Vulnerability at the back has been an Achilles heel for Arsenal in their first season under Emery and Keane would be the perfect man to answer their prayers.

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The Gunners have shown strong signs of promise in what was expected to be a season of transition under Emery following the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign.

Arsenal have adopted a much more aggressive approach with the Spaniard at the helm of affairs but all the good things that they have done in the attacking third have been largely undone by some shambolic defending.

While reinforcements can be anticipated at both right-back and left-back in the summer, Arsenal also need to reshape their options at the heart of the defence.

Shkodran Mustafi has struggled to adapt to Emery’s philosophy and the German has proven himself way too error-prone to rely upon, while Sokratis and club-captain Laurent Koscielny have looked quite reliable at times.

However, with Koscielny in the twilight of his career at 33, Arsenal need to dip into the transfer window for fresh options and Michael Keane would definitely be a good choice. Rob Holding Konstantinos Mavropanos are viable options but Keane is more established and can prove to be an obvious upgrade on Arsenal’s existing options.

Standing at 6ft.3 inches with a towering frame, Keane is a strong and powerful old-school centre-back who relies on his physicality and aerial ability to keep the opposition at bay.

Quick across the ground and adept at dealing with the aerial threat posed by the opposition from crosses and set-pieces, Keane is a commanding presence at the back who has a very good understanding of the game.

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Although he is not a particularly good tackler, he makes up for it with his sharpness, anticipation and astute positioning, often staying on his feet to intercept and clear the danger. Known for his commitment, Keane doesn’t hesitate to throw himself around to make crucial blocks inside the penalty area.

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Keane is very much at the peak of his career at 26 and Arsenal should look at him as a long-term solution to their defensive problems. He has the quality to propel the Gunners to greater heights in the Premier League and making a move for him would definitely make a lot of sense for the north Londoners.

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