Well, it turns out that when you stop hoping for the best, the best hopes for you. It’s been weeks since we’ve seen any concrete reports linking Arsenal with a move for Dayot Upacemano, so it was beginning to feel like a distant dream. However, the news this afternoon is positive for the fanbase to rejoice and get their hopes up again.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are now ‘set to win the race’ for the RB Leipzig defender. It’s thought they will beat AC Milan to his signature, which is a huge deal. While nothing is confirmed yet and we as Arsenal fans know not to get excited by tabloid talk until it’s confirmed, this is certainly a step in the right direction. I mean, surely it’s not complete nonsense, right?
The quest for a centre back signing this summer is very valid. It’s thought that Arsenal could lose the likes of David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi, so Arteta needs a solid centre back to partner the new arrival William Saliba. Imagine a young centre back pairing of Saliba and Upamecano, that would sort the Gunners out for many years to come.
Upamecano is an incredibly technically-gifted defender, however, his strength is obviously in his defensing. He knows where to position himself at the right time to prevent any threat of an attack by the opposing defence. This is exactly what the Gunners need because while both defenders are somewhat inexperienced, they are no pushovers.
I think a main problem in Arsenal’s recruitment team is that they can rely on experience TOO much. Yes, Sokratis is great, so was Stephan Lichtsteiner and many others, but Arsenal signed them too late. They turned into pushovers and it made Arsenal easy to beat. This is why it’s good to see the Gunners chasing capable and physical defenders to strengthen their back-line and protect Leno more efficiently.
Cover image: Steffen Prößdorf, 2020