There is little doubt that Arsenal are in need of an additional center back heading into the future. While Laurent Koscielny is widely considered as one of the top players at his position in the Premier League, the team’s depth chart in central defense gets a bit murky after the Frenchman. Per Mertesacker has mostly been deployed as Arsenal’s second center back opposite Koscielny since his arrival to north London in 2011; however, the former Germany international will soon be turning 32 and has noticeably lost a step or two during the last season.
Besides the BFG, the Gunners also have Gabriel Paulista as the club’s third choice central defender. Gabriel is by no means a bad defender, but the 25-year-old has been known to make mistakes during crucial points during matches and has also not fared well when he is partnered with Koscielny. The Brazilian looks to have a future in red and white, but it remains to be seen if Gabriel can be trusted as an automatic starter in central defense.
Arsenal are reportedly on the verge of signing Bolton center back Rob Holding. Nevertheless, Holding is just 20 years old, and would most likely be loaned out to a Championship level club for the upcoming 2016/17 season should he be brought in by the Gunners.
Despite the potential Holding signing, Arsenal are seemingly still in the market for a defender that can play with the senior club right away. Although the team has been linked with big money transfers with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Roma’s Kostas Manolas, and new Juventus signing Medhi Benatia this summer, manager Arsene Wenger could choose to go for a bit of a cheaper option with Borussia Dortmund’s Matthias Ginter.
Wenger has been linked with Ginter in previous years and is supposedly a long-term fan of the 22-year-old German, and with good reason. Ginter is a 6’2”, athletic, and versatile defender who can play at either center back and right back. In fact, the youngster mostly featured on the right side of defense for Dortmund last season (with much success). While he did play right back for most of the 2015/16 campaign in Germany, Ginter’s size and aggressiveness would work in the middle of defense as well.
With the player being just 22, Ginter would be able to learn from the ultra-experienced duo of Koscielny and Mertesacker, while also being a very capable defensive option for the Gunners heading into the new season. The German’s price tag of somewhere in the £12-15 million region is exceptionally Arsenal friendly as well.
A bargaining chip with Dortmund could be right back Mathieu Debuchy. The Frenchman is not particularly in Wenger’s plans, due to Hector Bellerin’s emergence, as well as having Calum Chambers and Carl Jenkinson back into the fold. Although Debuchy’s January loan move to Bordeaux was cut short to due an injury, the 30-year-old did play fairly well when he was on the pitch for the French club. If in fact Arsenal were to go after Ginter, leaving a hole at right back in Dortmund’s defense, Wenger could offer up Debuchy (plus money) to sweeten the deal.
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