Last summer perhaps Arsenal’s best signing was Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria. The tenacious midfielder has not been world class this season and his form has fluctuated, but he has shown the potential to be one of the league’s leading midfielders.
The 23-year-old has on the whole been very impressive when you consider he followed a tough world cup immediately with a debut season in the Premier League. I am sure he will continue to improve as he settles in the Premier League.
Now Arsenal need to add some more fresh faces around him and it looks like Unai Emery may be looking at Torreira’s former teammates as potential solutions to some of the squad’s most glaring deficiencies.
The duo are defender Joachim Andersen and midfielder Dennis Praet and according to reports, a bid has already been made for the duo.
The original story comes from SampNews24 who suggest that Arsenal have already ‘put forward’ an offer of €42million. An amount that Sampdoria have deemed ‘not satisfactory’. The article suggests that the Italian club value Andersen at €30million and Praet at €25million and that a combined bid would need to be in excess of €50million in order to be successful.
When you consider the €42million offer was probably an opening bid and €50million may be enough to secure the double deal, then it looks like this could have legs.
Arsenal are desperate for a new central defender and in Andersen they would be signing a defender who is very good on the ball and also physically imposing. Standing at 6ft 3’, he’d instantly become one of the clubs tallest players. Andersen completed more passes (1802) than any other player aged 23 and under in Serie A last season and with Skohdran Mustafi likely to leave this summer, Andersen could be the new starting central defender that sets the tone with his passing.
Praet (25) is an energetic creative midfielder, capable of playing as a number ten or in a deeper central role. He would surely be a replacement for Aaron Ramsey and whilst he is not in the same calibre, he would be a useful addition to the squad.
Like Andersen, Praet likes to get on the ball and has averaged 51.1 passes per game this season, it’s clear Emery wants players who demand the ball and not people who hide.
In my opinion, Arsenal should press ahead with a move for Andersen, but there may be better options than Praet. Andersen is the right age and his physical build and on the ball ability make him a perfect addition to a very poor defensive line.
A player of this ilk is very difficult to find at an affordable price and £25million would be good value if he continues to develop how he has in the last couple of years.
As many as 14 senior players could leave Arsenal this summer and of those, many are defenders. The club appear willing to listen to offers for Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Carl Jenkinson and Mustafi, whilst Stephan Lichtsteiner will also leave after the club opted not to renew his contract.
Therefore, right now Andersen should be one of the clubs priorities as they look to tie up some early business.