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Arsenal Set To Table Formal Bid For Belgian International
Reports today claim that Arsenal are set to make a formal move for unsettled Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld.
Boss Arsene Wenger once again reiterated his desire to strengthen his defensive options today during his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Goodison Park to face Everton.
As well as a defensive midfielder, Arsene is keen to bring in another defender to replace Thomas Vermaelen and the Daily Star claim that he’s identified Alderweireld as a potential target and will make a formal move in the coming days.
Despite the fact that widespread reports have linked us with Greek centre-back Kostas Manolas recently, the newspaper suggests that Arsene has turned his attention to Alderweireld due to his versatility and ability to play the ball out from the back.
The 25-year-old is able to play at centre-back and left-back, so would be a like-for-like replacement for Vermaelen in that sense, and his dad/agent Vic has recently admitted he wants a move after a frustrating year at Atletico:
“Toby wants to play, going out on loan would be the best option. If there is a solution, Atletico won’t stand in his way.”
“Since last year, we’ve had several discussions on this issue and Atletico understands that we don’t think it makes sense to leave Toby on the bench for another year.”
While Alderweireld senior talks about a loan move, it’s understood Arsenal want a permanent deal and the Star believe that Atletico will be willing to accept just £6m for the Belgian international – although we may face competition from Liverpool and Spurs as they are also keen on the player.
Alderweireld only joined Atletico from Ajax last summer but endured a difficult debut season that saw him make just 12 appearances, so it’s understandably he wants a move.
Although he’d be a decent back-up option for us, the fact his dad is stressing how the defender doesn’t want to sit on the bench for another year leads me to think this move is unlikely to happen.
Alderweireld isn’t going to replace either Per or Kos at centre-back, and Gibbs will be ahead of him at left-back when fit, so if he wants guaranteed first team football, he’s unlikely to come to the Emirates.