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3 bargain replacements for Laurent Koscielny at Arsenal

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.01K   //    12 Apr 2019, 11:57 IST

Laurent Koscielny in action for Arsenal FC against Manchester United
Laurent Koscielny in action for Arsenal FC against Manchester United

Arsenal seem to have missed Laurent Koscielny dearly this season. The club captain has been undoubtedly the best centre-back for Arsenal, alongside Sokratis Papasthopulos when available.

Unfortunately, the Frenchman's career has been heavily marred by injuries to a point where he has only managed 20 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this season. It is no secret that the Arsenal faithful have been unhappy with Shkodran Mustafi throughout the campaign due the centre-back's error-prone displays.

Despite Mustafi's disappointing form, the Premier League club could not always rely upon Koscielny because of injuries. The former Lorient defender is also 33-year-old and Arsenal will need a replacement for him soon. The Arsenal captain will surely be remembered as a club legend after spending 9 seasons at the Emirates.

It is understandable that Arsenal would always spend carefully in the transfer market. Hence, let's take a look at Koscielny's perfect replacements which the club could sign on bargain deals.

Djene Dakonam

Perhaps not many are aware that Getafe have been one of the biggest surprises in La Liga this season. The club are currently sitting 4th in the league table and are ahead of well-renowned Spanish teams such as Sevilla and Valencia.

Getafe have also conceded less than Barcelona this season in the league, thanks largely to Djene Dakonam's excellent displays. The club have the third-best defensive record in La Liga this season, with Getafe conceding just 27 goals in 31 games. Dakonam has played nearly all of Getafe's matches and has provided stability to the backline.

The Togolese star is an imposing defender who rarely commits grave mistakes. He is excellent at both aerial and non-aerial battles. This season, the 27-year-old has recorded 1.7 tackles and 2.1 intercepts per game which is better than Koscielny's 1.3 and 1.8 respectively.

His release clause currently stands at just £30 million. Hence, he would surely be a bargain for Arsenal as he is one of the best centre-backs in La Liga at the moment.

Willy Boly

The Wolves defender has been one of the most underrated centre-backs in the Premier League this season. No reports are linking the Frenchman with Arsenal currently but the Gunners surely must consider adding him to their shopping list due to his impressive displays throughout the season.

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A complete defender who excels in nearly everything in terms of defending, Boly has been an important factor behind Wolves' resurgence in the Premier League this term. He has recorded a solid 3.9 aerials won, 2.3 tackles, and 2 intercepts per game - all of which are better than Koscielny's. Hence, it is safe to say that he would be an instant upgrade for Arsenal's defence.

He could probably cost Arsenal in the region of €20-30 million and the price will be a bargain for such a consistent Premier League defender. It is understandable that Wolves want to keep him, having bought him only last year but they will have a hard time keeping hold of their prized possession if a club as big as Arsenal come calling for him.

Kostas Manolas

Many regard the Greek defender as one of the best centre-backs in Europe. Last season, he played a key role for AS Roma, who reached the Champions League semi-finals after dumping out Barcelona in sensational fashion. A fast-paced, intelligent, and physically strong defender, the 27-year-old is an iron-wall which every top club dream of having.

He has been better than Koscielny in several important defending aspects. He has recorded a solid 1.2 tackles and 1.8 intercepts per game in all competitions. His fearsome reputation alone would be enough to convince Unai Emery to start him in every game.

He could also form a deep understanding and formidable partnership with fellow countryman Sokratis at the Emirates. His release clause surprisingly stands at just €36 million which could be deemed too low for a defender of his calibre. Arsenal would better act quickly to snatch him due to fierce competitions from other European top clubs.

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