According to French outlet L’Équipe, as per GFFN, Arsenal are interested in signing Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, but with his price tag reportedly set at around £53million, is he a player who the Gunners should splash the cash on?
Firstly, it’s clear that Arsenal need to sign at least one, possibly two, centre-backs this summer. The Gunners were dreadful at the back at times during the Premier League season and as such, they were unable to secure a place in the top four.
Furthermore, it looks like Laurent Koscielny will be leaving the club, so the Gunners are desperately short at the back, but is Umtiti the man they should be looking to recruit.
Umtiti has found game time hard to come by recently as he’s been ousted by Clément Lenglet and with Barca set to sign Mathijs De Ligt from Ajax, it looks like he’ll be pushed further down the pecking order.
The 25-year-old has plenty of top-level experience and will have a point to prove too. There’s no doubting his quality, but can Arsenal afford to spend over £50million on one player when there are numerous issues to address in the squad?
Quite simply, if they have the money to get Umtiti, they should sign him. Arsenal won’t do anything of note in the league next season without addressing their defence and if it means spending most of the budget to help solve their defensive worries then so be it.
Other centre-backs Arsenal could look to sign this summer
Milan Skriniar - Inter Milan
The Slovakian international is one of the Serie A’s best defenders and his reputation is growing around Europe. He’s still only 24 years old and would be a fantastic addition to the Arsenal squad. He’s unlikely to be available for a bargain fee so Emery may be required to splash the cash on him.
Jason Denayer - Lyon
Denayer emerged as a key player for Lyon last season and put in some impressive performances in the Champions League against tough opposition. He’s still only 23 years old and could provide stability to the Arsenal defence.
James Tarkowski - Burnley
Tarkowski was a rock at the back for Burnley again last season. He is a cheaper alternative to the other candidates and already has Premier League experience.
Harry Maguire - Leicester City
Maguire had another stellar season for Leicester City. His presence at the back would improve Arsenal.
Kalidou Koulibaly - Napoli
Koulibaly is one of the world’s best centre-backs and he could be tempted to move this summer. Arsenal need a leader, Koulibaly is exactly that but he would be very expensive.
Gary Cahill - Chelsea
Cahill is hugely experienced and has been one of the Premier League’s best defenders for several years. The Gunners were linked with him in January and signing him could be a smart move by Emery.
Matthias Ginter - Borussia Monchengladbach
The German international is one of the most reliable players in the Bundesliga. He’s calm with the ball and is also a threat in the air.
Jose Gimenez - Atletico Madrid
The Uruguay international is well-known for his passionate defending. He’s learned a lot from playing alongside Diego Godin and he would be a brilliant signing for the Gunners. He’s still only 24 so has plenty of time to continue developing.