Who is Ruben Dias? Arsenal target’s age, background and attributes explained

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Ruben Dias has been linked with a move to Arsenal, however they have been warned they must pay at least £35 million this summer to land the Benfica defender.

The 20-year-old is seen as a long-term solution at the heart of their defence to replace club captain Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, according to reports.

MORE: Arsenal legend explains why Alexis Sanchez may have alienated Manchester United team-mates

Reports emanating from Portugal last week claimed that Gunners’ scouts were spotted at the Estadio da Luz with Dias believed to be one of their targets.

Benfica are reported to have acknowledged that they will be parting ways with Dias, with England and Italy looking his most likely destinations.

We look into his background and what he could bring to Arsenal, should they acquire his services.

Per Mertesacker - Arsenal
Per Mertesacker will be in the charge of the academy next season

Who is Ruben Dias?

Ruben Dias, 20, was born 14 May, 1997 and is a Portuguese professional footballer.

He started his career with Estrela da Amadora, before moving to Benfica’s youth academy in 2008.

In September 2015, he was rewarded for a series of good displays at youth level by making his professional debut with Benfica B in a 2015–16 LigaPro match against Chaves.

He helped the B team survive relegation in his debut season and finish fourth the following year in the second division, along with reaching the final of the 2016–17 UEFA Youth League.

He is considered as one of Portugal’s brightest prospects and is in line to make his senior international debut in the future, having represented his country at all youth levels.

2017 was a breakthrough year for Dias, and he made his debut for the for the first team in a Primeira Liga match against Boavista, whilst also appearing in the Champions League against Manchester Utd.

Dias reads the game well and is great aerially too; he has made 16 appearances for the first team and also has an eye for goal, finding the net on three occasions.

Will Arsene Wenger be tempted to splash the cash on Ruben Dias?
Will Arsene Wenger be tempted to splash the cash on Dias?

International career

Dias has represented the Under-17 side at the 2014 Under-17 Euro and two years later, he captained the Under-19 squad at the 2016 Under-19 Euro.

Leadership qualities is clearly one of Dias’ biggest strength as he also captained the Under-20 side at the 2017 U-20 World Cup.

Furthermore, he made his debut for the Under-21’s in a 2019 qualifying match in 2017.

Portugal manager Fernando Santos selected Dias to the senior squad ahead of international friendlies against Egypt and the Netherlands, but sadly, he was dropped from the squad after picking up right ankle sprain.

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