Why Arsenal would be wise to snub Boateng and sign Dayot Upamecano

Arsenal are being linked with a January move for defender Dayot Upamecano as they look to shore up their leaky defence (h/t The Metro).

The Gunners have kept just four clean sheets in 21 Premier League games this season and have a -2 goal difference. One of Mikel Arteta’s main concerns will be to stop conceding so many goals, which was highlighted by the two sloppy ones they conceded to lose 2-1 to Chelsea.

They did manage a clean sheet against Manchester United but they have been few and far between.

Upamecano has been heavily linked with Arsenal in recent weeks and Calum Chambers’ serious knee injury has intensified the club’s search for a new centre-back this winter (h/t The Metro). Rob Holding is working his way back to fitness after an injury while Sokratis suffered a concussion in the draw with Bournemouth on Boxing Day and missed their last game.

That leaves Arteta with David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Konstantinos Mavropanos as his only fit centre-backs.

Arteta
Arteta has been appointed as the manager of Arsenal (Image credit: Getty)

The 21-year-old Frenchman is one of the most promising young defenders in Europe and is refusing to put pen to paper on a contract at Leipzig for the time being as he strongly considers his future (h/t The Metro).

The Gunners did sign William Saliba from Saint Etienne over the summer but loaned him straight back to the Ligue 1 club. Their defence frailties are more pressing and Arteta could dip into the transfer market to shore up his backline, with France Under-21 international Upamecano seemingly on his radar.

Upamecano is a 21-year-old centre-back, who was born in France but holds dual citizenship with Guinea-Bissau. He is right-footed and can also play in central midfield. He plies his trade in the German Bundesliga with Red Bull Leipzig, where he has played for two seasons, since moving from Red Bull Salzburg.

Matteo Guendouzi recently played with him as the France U21 squad dealt with their U21 European qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Slovakia last week.

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Upamecano in action for France (Image credit: Getty)

Another player on Arsenal’s radar of late has been Jerome Boateng (h/t The Mirror). The 31-year-old has made nine Bundesliga appearances so far this season, having fallen out of favour at the Allianz Arena.

 Arsenal target Jerome Boateng is still to decide on his future and will return to training camp with Bayern Munich
Jerome Boateng (Image credit: Getty)

He has been at Bayern since moving from Manchester City in the summer of 2011, going on to make a total of 301 appearances for the German side. His place in the side is under threat due to Benjamin Pavard and David Alaba, who has played more as a central defender than a left-back this term.

Germany international Boateng would bring vital experience, with seven Bundesliga titles and a Champions League trophy in his cabinet. The Bayern Munich defender’s injury record might be the only hindrance, as he can’t seem to stay on the pitch consistently enough.

Verdict

Boateng is a serial trophy winner but has previously struggled in the Premier League. He is 31 and past his prime already whereas Upamecano is young and fresh.

Thus, it is an absolute no-brainer for Arsenal to sign Upamecano ahead of Boateng.

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