It’s rare to see a club sign a player without at least one player having to leave, and Arsenal’s defensive situation is an interesting one.
It’s been a weakness for a while but it’s not that they don’t have options to choose from – the problem is the squad is overloaded with mediocre defenders.
Reports are suggesting that Arsenal are set to confirm the signing of Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes:
Understand Lille have agreed to sell Gabriel Magalhães to Arsenal for a fee of €30million.
Brazilian centre back due to take medical tomorrow before completing transfer to the Premier League club.
Gabriel was also targeted by Everton, Manchester United and Napoli. #AFC #BRA https://t.co/CSt29pDPmB
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) August 19, 2020
That means the current squad has the following players who can play centre back ahead of next season – Gabriel Magalhaes, David Luiz, William Saliba, Rob Holding, Sokratis, Pablo Mari and Shkodran Mustafi – while Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac can also fill in at left centre back when they play with a back three.
Even without those two it means they have seven players for a maximum of three starting spots, so it does make you wonder who will need to move on.
Obvious Gabriel is a lock to stay, while it’s hard to see anything happening with Saliba or Pablo Mari when they’ve recent arrivals, and David Luiz is clearly a good influence on the team so it would be a surprise to see him go.
That means it’s likely that Holding, Sokratis or Mustafi will be moved on, and it’s easy to see a situation where two of them end up going.
Mikel Arteta still has needs in the team and even if he can’t get a big transfer fee for either, at least it would free up two wages to put towards new signings to strengthen the rest of the team.