Today’s Arsenal related transfer news comes in the shape of Konstantinos Mavropanos and that ‘FIVE Bundesliga clubs eye summer swoop for young defender’.
Arsenal have too many central defenders next season, which has delayed the club offering a new deal to David Luiz.
Arsenal do not need 7 central defenders. At most we need 5. Maybe even just 4 senior ones with Dan Ballard of Zech Medley backing them up.
The management are also extremely keen on making Pablo Mari’s loan deal a permanent.
If Mari does sign, that would leave the club with 8 centre backs. That means 3 more to stay on top of the Spaniard and Saliba.
The preference of the club is that David Luiz remains for one more season. The Brazilian has been one of the first names on the team sheet under both Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta. No player has played more games this season.
Luiz remaining depends on whether the club can sell either Sokratis or Mustafi.
If either Sokratis and Mustafi leaves, Luiz will stay. If Arsenal can not sell either, the Brazilian will leave.
This summer will also probably see the end of the road for either Rob Holding or Calum Chambers.
Neither has progressed much in recent years and are now both 25-years-old. The Englishmen are also on relatively low wages. Both are good sellable assets and would generate a lot of interest from Premier League side.
That would leave Arsenal with:
Mustafi / Sokratis
Holding / Chambers
5 defenders excluding Mavropanos.
But Mavropanos should not be sold.
The Greek is still just 22, and whilst it has been a couple of seasons since he put in a handful of OK performances at the back end of 2012/18, there is player there.
Like many players, he needs games.
Mavropanos has shown progression in the short time he has spent at Nurnberg in the German second division, but he needs to keep playing – both to progress as a player and to continue to prove his fitness.
Come 2021, the contracts run out for Luiz (if he signs a 1 year extension), Sokratis and Mustafi. That would leave the club with just 3 senior central defenders in Saliba, Mari and Holding / Chambers.
The worry for Arsenal will be that whilst we are overloaded for defenders going into 2020/21, the case for 2021/22 is looking very diufferent.
It would make a lot of sense to loan Mavropanos out to a Bundesliga side to play a full season next year, and then bring him back for 2021.
He will still be just 23 and, if he has progressed in Germany, will be well set to compete with Saliba and Mari for a starting place.
That would leave us in 2021 with:
Chambers / Holding
Arsenal would then have the option of buying a superstar defender if we need to improve the back line (with whoever has stayed between Chambers and Holding moving on) whilst promoting either Dan Ballard or Zech Medley to fill the 5th centre back squad.
A loan move away for Mavropanos will enable us to keep our options open in a years time.