Arsenal Opinion: Pape Abou Cisse could be the next big bargain at the club
The Gunners believe a bid of £10million should be enough for them to bring the 23-year-old defender to the club this summer, having already scouted him over the course of the previous campaign.
Things have gone from bad to worse for the Gunners, with club captain Laurent Koscielny casting a major doubt over his future at the Emirates by refusing to board the pre-season flight to the United States. (h/t Sun)
It is quite clear that the 33-year-old is trying hard to push for a move away from North London and the fans would probably be aware that his departure in the middle of such a dire defensive crisis might as well spell disaster for the club. That, of course, might change if Arsenal manage to bring in a suitable replacement.
Pape Abou Cisse has earned rave reviews for his strong performances at Olympiacos, including the Europa League last season, where he scored a goal against AC Milan in the group stages to seal qualification to the round of 32.
He was amongst the club’s most impressive performers in the league campaign as well and helped Olympiacos to a runners-up spot behind winners PAOK. In all competitions till date, Cisse has accumulated 50 appearances for the Greek heavyweights, finding the net on 6 occasions.
Standing at 6ft 6in with a gigantic frame, Pape Abou Cisse is noted for his physicality, power and aerial ability as a central defender. Quite fast and agile for a player of his stature, the 23-year-old is adept at combining game-reading ability with his tackling and intercepting skills to cut out the attacks.
In the Europa League last season, Cisse boasted of a pass accuracy rate of 83.2%, including 4.6 successful long long balls,1.3 tackles, 2.3 interceptions, 6.4 clearances and 2.3 aerial duels per game, figures which are certainly quite impressive.
To put things into perspective, Cisse, though not a household name in Europe, could prove to be a handy addition to Arsenal’s backline this summer given that all the existing defenders in the club’s ranks seem to have some problem or the other.
Shkodran Mustafi made some horrific defensive blunders last season, while the likes of Konstantinos Mavropanos, Koscielny and Rob Holding all spent long spells on the sidelines.
Sokratis looked to be the only one without any significant issues but it is quite apparent that the Gunners need to invest in their defensive options this summer if they are to challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League next season.
There is always an element of risk involved in signing players from outside the top five leagues of Europe, although playing a low-cost gamble on the Senegalese international won’t be a bad idea for Arsenal.
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Pape Abou Cisse might take a bit of time to acclimatise to his new surroundings before he eventually starts to challenge for a place in the starting eleven.
Well, that is probably the case with even the best of players to arrive in the Premier League and Arsenal have every reason to be optimistic about this deal.