Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge has faltered in recent weeks, with their midweek defeat to Manchester City meaning it is now out of their own hands.
Mikel Arteta has built a wonderful starting XI, who across the first few months of the campaign proved they could beat just about anyone. The worry was likely a lack of strength in depth, and this has been showcased in recent weeks following the injury to William Saliba.
Arteta has had to deploy Rob Holding at the centre of defence, and it’s evident that he isn’t up to scratch for the club if they wish to sustain a title challenge.
Journalist Jason Soutar claimed that Holding is not good enough for the future following their 3-3 draw against Southampton: “Rob Holding might not have made any individual errors tonight but his presence severely weakens Arsenal. I have been saying it for a while now… we need to buy a centre-back in the summer.”
The Spaniard needs another defender this summer in order to finally bin Holding and the Gunners have been linked with a move for Croatian defender Josip Sutalo ahead of next season.
Could Arsenal sign Josip Sutalo?
According to Croatian newspaper 24sata, Arsenal have been in contact with Dinamo Zagreb over the transfer of the defender, with the club reportedly demanding a fee of €20m (£18m) and this is small change for the Gunners.
The 23-year-old has been dubbed “highly underrated” by talent scout Jacek Kulig and he could add some strength to the Arsenal defence.
Across 22 league appearances for Dinamo this term, he has received an average match rating of 7.08/10, as per Sofascore, managing to keep clean sheets in seven of those matches while also making two interceptions, 1.8 clearances and 0.9 tackles per game.
Holding, by contrast, has failed to keep a single clean sheet in his 13 Premier League outings so far this season, while also averaging just 0.2 interceptions, 1.9 clearances and 0.6 tackles per game as a marker of his shortcomings.
The centre-back was chosen for Croatia’s World Cup squad in Qatar last year, and he made one appearance, the third-place playoff victory against Morocco, playing the full 90 minutes.
He completed 94% of his passes and took 73 touches during the tie, proving that he is more than capable of playing out from the back and appears extremely comfortable on the ball, qualities that will surely impress Arteta.
For a fee of just £18m, Arsenal could secure a truly exciting young centre-back this summer and in order to win major trophies over the coming years, Arteta is going to have to be brutal and ditch players such as Holding, who are evidently detrimental to their ambitions.
#Arsenal #Eye #Move #Underrated #18m #Gem