Reports suggest that Arsenal are favorites to secure the signature of Bayer Leverkusen defender Edmond Tapsoba. The Burkina Faso international have impressed ever since moving to Germany.
A huge talent, Tapsoba has garnered attention from many clubs across Europe. Arsenal is reported to be the front runner for his signature. However, the centre-back will not be cheap.
CAN ARSENAL FIT TAPSOBA IN THEIR SIDE?
Arsenal had a very disappointing season. Finishing 8th in Premier League, the Gunners have missed out on European competition for the first time in 25 years. As a result, Arsenal wants to strengthen their team and Tapsoba is said to be key for that.
However, Arsenal does have enough centre-backs in their team. While David Luiz is set to leave the club, they still have the likes of Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, Gabriel, and Calum Chambers. They also have William Saliba and Konstantinos Mavropanos who will return after a loan spell from OGC Nice and VfB Stuttgart respectively.
Without any European football, it is not necessary for Arsenal to have so many centre-backs. So bringing in Tapsoba might not be major necessary. But, the club could be looking to sell some of its defenders. Though Saliba and Mavropanos have impressed during their loan spells, Arteta is not keen on them. This could lead to more departures from Arsenal this summer.
LEVERKUSEN TO DEMAND HUGE FEES
Bayer Leverkusen also would not be willing to let go of their defender. Tapsoba during his short time has been incredible. He is excellent with the ball and likes to dribble. Good at passing and not averse to tackles, he will be a good signing for Arsenal.
But even if Arsenal wants to sign him, it won’t be easy. With Aleksander Dragovic leaving the club and Sven Bender retiring, they are short on centre-back position. A possible option thus could be Saliba or Mavropanos. Arsenal could sweeten the deal by offering one of them and force the move for Tapsoba.
Meanwhile, if Leverkusen is not ready for a player swap, Arsenal will have to pay a huge sum. Tapsoba is reported to not have a release clause in his contract. So the power will move to Leverkusen, who is asking for over £51 million for the defender.
In short, any move for Tapsoba will come with a huge cost for Arsenal. Whether the club needs a new defender is highly debatable. But the Arsenal board seems to be ready to Arteta and start a rebuild. So if they can offload some of their players, Arsenal could secure Tapsoba this summer.