If Arsenal fans were upset about links to Bayern’s Jerome Boateng due to fears that he is past his prime, today’s centre back rumour suggests almost the exact opposite, with a younger, less-proven name linked. According to both RMC Sport in France and Charles Watts (Arsenal Correspondent for Goal.com), Stade Reims’ 22-year-old centre back Axel Disasi is on Arsenal’s radar.
Charles Watts reports that contacts have already been made between the clubs, with Arsenal ensuring they will be “involved in the conversation” despite interest from the likes of Southampton and Monaco. Despite his age, Disasi has been impressive in Ligue 1:
“He also has good experience behind him, having made 31 appearances in all competitions this season. Arsenal view him as an intelligent centre-back who reads the game well and one who has the physical presence to cope with the demands of the Premier League. Reims have the best defensive record in France this season, having conceded just 21 goals in the league, and Disasi’s from in the heart of the back four is seen as a major reason for that.”Charles Watts, Goal.com
Disasi’s contract expires in 2021 and he will be available for a reported £13 million. RMC Sport report that Arsenal made an approach in January, but it did not meet Stade Reims’ demands.
In the best-case scenario for Arsenal fans, the club would splash the cash on Dayot Upamecano, but the reality is that growing financial burdens may require them to go for a cheaper defensive option. Yesterday, it was reported that negotiations for Jerome Boateng are at an advanced stage. This move would make much more sense than a big-money move, perhaps allowing Arteta to spend more on a central midfielder like Thomas Partey.
Both Disasi and Boateng would cost within the region of £12-15 million; however, they would bring completely different qualities to Arsenal’s back line. Boateng’s experience may be what Arsenal need, but Disasi could be a young and exciting prospect if he successfully integrates into the Premier League. It remains to be seen where Mikel Arteta’s priorities lie.
It is a tricky question, and the answer will depend on who stays. Pablo Mari (26) recently told the media that he hopes his stay at Arsenal will be extended, with his loan deal possibly becoming permanent:
“I have a lot of things to learn but I think my football can be really good with Arsenal. I hope the club and I can go at the end (of the season) with good things to do the permanent transfer.”Pablo Mari
The question is, how much more can Disasi offer to Arsenal than what the incoming William Saliba already will? Both players have been solid for their clubs in France, but will need time to adapt.
Meanwhile, Arsenal may also look to raise money from selling players who may not have a future at the club. It is rumoured that left-back Sead Kolasinac could be on the way out for £20 million, with his former club Schalke interested. Kieran Tierney’s Arsenal career has not yet kicked off due to injury, but the former Celtic star promises so much, and Bukayo Saka has put in some exciting performances from left-back as well, including his ‘nutmeg assist’ in a 4-0 victory over Newcastle. Arteta may well consider Kolasinac excess to requirements.
Header Photo: Ksiamon, 2019