Hector Bellerin who is also Arsenal’s longest-serving player could leave the club this summer. With reported interest from Spain, Italy and France, there is a good chance that the defender will end his association with the club. If the Spaniard does depart, the Gunners will have to find a good enough replacement. Who are the players that should be targeted?
Some names may already be known whereas others could be on the cusp of exploding. All of them would bring something new to the Emirates stadium.
Denzel Dumfries – PSV Eindhoven
Currently starring at the Euros, the 25-year-old has been a revelation playing as a wingback for the Netherlands. He is at the right age to make the next move in his career, and it could be to England.
The right-back is pacey, strong in the air and knows when to put in a tackle. Based on his performances at this tournament, it is clear to see that he will fit into the Premier League’s style of play.
Dumfries has the stamina to keep going up and down the right flank which is another asset. PSV Eindhoven will certainly bump up the transfer value of the defender, but the north Londoners should consider him.
Gonzalo Montiel – River Plate
The River Plate right-back is quite similar in style to Bellerin which is a plus for the Gunners. Though he has played for River all his life, now would be a good time to get the defender to Europe.
Montiel is quick across the turf, puts in great crosses and can be more defensive if required. This combination of qualities makes him a good choice for this spot.
And the fact that he’s playing in Argentina would result in the 24-year-old being cheaper than the other options. Adapting to a new league might take time but after that, the Gunners will get to see a talent blossom.
Tyler Adams – RB Leipzig
The American is versatile enough to play in multiple positions and one of them is at right-back. RB Leipzig will not let him go for cheap but if a deal can be struck, it would benefit the north Londoners.
The main advantage of using Adams in place of Bellerin is that he would play the way Mikel Arteta prefers. The manager likes having the right-sided full-back tuck into the centre, giving an extra body in midfield.
Having the 22-year-old would let Arteta do that given his experience of playing centrally. An energetic presence capable of breaking up attacks, the US national would be a good signing.
Youcef Atal – OGC Nice
Arsenal are interested in Achraf Hakimi, but he might be too expensive. In Atal, they have a similar player who can be signed on the cheap.
The Nice full-back can be deployed anywhere on the right flank but excels as an attacking defender. His incredible pace and energy will allow him to constantly join in attacks and prove to be a threat to the opposition.
Bringing the 25-year-old to the Emirates would be affordable and can help fill in the potential void left by Bellerin. Atal doesn’t have the star power of Hakimi, but he is an exciting talent.
Zeki Celik – LOSC Lille
If you saw Turkey at the Euros, you would think that this signing should not be pursued. But that does not take into account the brilliant work the right-back has done in France for Lille.
Helping them win the league last season, the Turk was a crucial part of their setup. A modern full-back who does not forget his defensive duties, Celik would be a perfect addition to Arteta’s team.
And his successful partnership with Nicolas Pepe is another factor that is in his favour. The 27-year-old should be judged by his performances at the club level where he has excelled on a consistent basis.
Joakim Maehle – Atalanta BC
The 24-year-old Atalanta man is another player who is similar to Bellerin. Now starring for Denmark at the Euros, the Dane can play in multiple positions.
Though primarily used as a wingback for most of his career, Maehle has the discipline needed to be a full-back. His pace and skill make it easy to get away from the opposition and could add another dimension to the Gunners’ build-up.
At the Emirates, Dane’s ability will be useful in helping the north Londoners break down teams. And he can slot in on the left side of defence if needed. It is unclear how much the Italian side would want for their asset after the Euros. But there is a deal that could be found here.
Arsenal News View:
It is clear that Bellerin is not the player he used to be, so it is necessary to replace him with someone who would benefit the team. If you look at the possible options mentioned here, they are not all similar in how they play. What it does, is give the north Londoners something new.
If and when the Spaniard leaves, the Emirates club should get a good fee for him and that can be used in funding the player coming in. This way, it reduces the cost of the new arrival and eases the financial burden. Last season was a major disappointment for Arteta, as they finished without European football.
There are multiple positions in the squad that need to be improved and it is going to be a long summer ahead. An injection of quality at the right-back area would certainly be welcome and it is looking likely. Arsenal have a chance to put their money on the table and show that they are serious about getting back to the top. By plugging gaps in the squad, they are heading on the right path.