What's the story?
Arsenal is eyeing Real Betis right-back Aissa Mandi as their solution to their defensive problems. The Gunners are still a bit short in the defender's list with Hector Bellerin ruled out up to 9 months after rupturing his ligaments while Rob Holding has been marred by injuries this season. Club captain Laurent Koscielny recently came back from his ligament injury and is yet to get back into full match sharpness. According to Eldesmarque as quoted by the Metro, Unai Emery has targeted the Algerian international as a solution to his defensive woes.
In case you didn't know
Aissa Mandi has been one of the best full-backs in the La Liga so far this season. The Algerian international has played in all the 20 league matches for Real Betis.
The versatile defender is equally adept at covering both the full-back roles and has exclusively deployed as a centre back in a 3-man defence for Real Betis this season. The versatility of the Algerian would be a useful trait for the injury-prone Arsenal defence,
The heart of the matter
Arsenal has been struggling on the defensive front so far in this season and has kept just 4 clean sheets in the Premier League this season. The recent injury to Hector Bellerin has seen the Arsenal deprived of a quality replacement for the injured Spaniard.
The Arsenal defence is known to be injury and error prone and Unai Emery has been on the lookout for quality defenders all season and the addition of the Algerian international is expected to give much more options.
Arsenal is expected to make a bid in the summer after the manager confirmed that the club will be looking for only loan deals in January rather than any permanent ones. However Real Betis is willing to let go of their defender only if the buy-out clause €30 million is paid in full.
Rumour probability: 7/10
Unai Emery has time and time made his request for a defender known to the board and with Hector Bellerin ruled out the Gunners are expected to be on the look for players to strengthen their weak defence.
Arsenal and the Premier League will be a set up for the Algerian, who has been a part of the Real Betis defence since 2016.