Lisandro Martinez is the Gunners’ main target to fill this void but there should also be alternatives on the list for Arsenal.
The ideal alternative for Martinez that Edu could target is Evan Ndicka, a player who has already been linked to Arsenal this year. However, according to French news outlet Foot Mercato, Tottenham are leading the race to sign the Eintracht Frankfurt defender.
With Arsenal targeting a defender ahead of the new season, missing out on both Martinez and Ndicka could be a major blow for the Gunners. Edu must be proactive rather than reactive in this window which he has already shown with the pursuit of Fabio Vieira from FC Porto.
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There is every chance that Arsenal could lose out on Martinez, as according to Dutch journalist Mike Verweij, Manchester United are preparing to rival Arsenal and make an offer for the Ajax defender. The Red Devils have reportedly switched their attention to Martinez after being unable to sign his teammate Jurrien Timber.
If Arsenal do lose out on Martinez then Ndicka should be next in for the Gunners. The Frenchman’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2022/2023 season, which means that the Gunners can sign him on a cut-price deal at the Ndicka is valued at £ 21m by CIES Football Observatory. End of the current campaign, as he would have just one-year remaining on his current contract.
According to German outlet BILD, Newcastle are also interested in signing Ndicka at the end of the season, while the Eintracht Frankfurt defender has also been linked with a move to Anfield and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Arsenal are currently extremely short in the center-back positions, as Arteta only has three options. If Holding departs in the summer transfer window, it would make sense for Edu to bring in an additional defender alongside William Saliba, assuming his future remains at the club following his season-long loan at Marseille.
This could be Arteta’s thinking behind the potential signing of Ndicka and bringing Saliba back into the group ahead of the new campaign. Both Saliba and Ndicka are French youth internationals, and they would compliment each other perfectly due to Ndicka being a left-footed center- back and Saliba right-footed.
Ndicka becomes an even more attractive signing when you consider his versatility. The youngster has also played at full-back this season and was very impressive in this role against Barcelona at the Camp Nou when Frankfurt famously won 4-1 against the Catalan side in the quarter-final of the Europa League earlier in the season.
Arsenal will also need to sign a full-back ahead of next season to provide more solid cover for Kieran Tierney, who has already suffered a season-ending injury this campaign. The Scotsman’s current understudy, Nuno Tavares, has performed well at times but has often looked very shaky at the back.
The acquisition of Ndicka would certainly be useful if Arsenal lose out on Martinez. But, Spurs’ interest in the player means that Edu should look to speed up a potential deal.