4 players who could replace Laurent Koscielny at Arsenal
Despite the rumoured £45 million transfer budget available to them, it has been a surprisingly busy summer at Arsenal.
This week they broke their transfer record to sign Ivorian winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille in a deal worth over £70 million. The 22-year-old scored an impressive 22 goals in Ligue 1 last season, as well as providing 11 assists.
The Gunners also completed the signing of Dani Ceballos on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid, as well as bringing in 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano for £6 million. William Saliba is the other major deal, with the centre back joining from Saint-Etienne for £27 million, but he will return to France for the coming season.
It hasn’t all been positive though. They failed to agree a fee with Crystal Palace for Wilfried Zaha, and that deal now looks dead given the signing of Pepe. They have also failed to get any deal over the line for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, though there may still be a chance that deal gets done.
One man who may be on his way out of the Emirates is Laurent Koscielny, who refused to go on the Gunners’ pre-season tour of the US in an effort to complete a move to France.
If he does make the move, then no doubt Arsenal will need to replace him before the season gets underway, given how weak their backline was at times last season. Here are four men who could replace Koscielny at Arsenal.
#1 Daniele Rugani (Juventus)
Earlier this summer, Juventus won the race to sign Ajax centre back Matthijs de Ligt, beating off competition from across Europe for the 19-year-old. The signing of de Ligt adds to their embarrassment of riches at centre back, where they already have Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani. Because of this, Rugani may find himself struggling to get into the side, so it may be that he wants a move away to find first-team football.
The 25-year-old is very highly rated at Juventus and has shown that he has the potential to be a top centre back. However, he hasn’t found opportunities easy to come by and has therefore appeared just 69 times in Serie A over the last four seasons. Arsenal’s transfer budget means that they may not have the funds to bring in Rugani, but reports say that Arsenal are willing to get a loan deal done.