Arsenal Opinion: Why the Gunners should make a move for Aissa Mandi?

Back in February, the El Desmarque claimed Arsenal were one of the clubs interested in signing Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi. (h/t Football Espana)

The Algerian, 27, joined Real Betis in 2016 from Reims and has proven to be a consistent performer at the club, managing 48 appearances across all competitions last season. He impressed in a three-man backline under Quique Setien this past campaign, although Betis finished tenth in the La Liga table.

As far as Arsenal are concerned, Unai Emery has limited funds to work with this summer transfer window. Due to the Gunners’ financial difficulties, they cannot aim for big names or break the bank for a single player. Emery has to wheel and deal while recruiting players ahead of the new campaign.

Aissa Mandi 1

The Gunners boss will be desperate to bolster his defence over the summer having seen his side leak over 50 goals in 38 Premier League matches, while the club also suffered long-term injuries to Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding during the past campaign. Sokratis Papastathopoulos was the only defender to emerge with some credit and he’ll be keen to improve further next term.

Laurent Koscielny is on his last legs, Nacho Monreal is clearly past his prime and Shkodran Mustafi has been error-strewn ever since arriving at the Emirates.

As a result, one can understand why Emery has made no secret of his desire for bringing in defensive reinforcements. A central defender is the need of the hour and given the club’s financial crunch, Emery would be wise in rekindling his interest in Aissa Mandi, who has a £26m release clause in his contract.

Mandi would fit the bill at the Emirates following his impressive season at the Benito Villamarin Stadium. Emery prioritises playing from the back and the Algerian would be very comfortable in adapting to the Spaniard’s system at the Emirates.

The 27-year-old, who can operate in both central defence and right-back, is very composed with the ball at his feet and can pass with both feet very easily.

Aissa Mandi

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A tenacious tackler, Mandi is an asset to have at both ends of the pitch. He’s technically sound and also has the aggression required for the Premier League. Plus, the former Reims man can also operate at right-back, which will be a massive boost for a side like Arsenal.


Arsenal’s biggest area of weakness is central defence and their most important signing this summer has to be in that position. At 27, Mandi has perhaps entered the prime years of his career and the Gunners will be getting a rock-solid versatile defender if they can get the deal over the line.

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