Why Arsenal should sign Ibrahima Konate in the summer window
According to a report in Sun, Premier League giants Arsenal are taking a close look at RB Leipzig’s young centre-back Ibrahima Konate. The 19-year-old has been in great form in the Bundesliga this season, attracting interest from clubs around. The Gunners would face competition from fellow London rivals Chelsea and West Ham for the signature of the Frenchman.
It is being suggested that Unai Emery will get a sum of £40m to spend in the summer transfer window, which is very less for a club with the ambition of playing Champions League football year in year out.
In spite of all that, the fact is that Arsenal need a quality centre-back ahead of next season and Konate could be the right choice, here’s why:
He could fit Emery’s style of play
Arsenal are short on centre-back options right now. A long-term injury to Rob Holding hasn’t helped the cause. The two senior men, Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi look very uncomfortable at the back, and as a result, they have been conceding goals for fun.
Shipping 36 goals in 25 league games isn’t good enough for a team that is striving to finish in the top four come May. It was a mistake from the club’s viewpoint that they didn’t dip in the market in January.
They must rectify that error in the summer window. Scouting Ibrahima Konate is not a bad idea. The Frenchman has been impressive at centre-back since making his debut for RB Leipzig last season.
In terms of attributes, the 19-year-old possesses the physicality and defensive awareness to deal with any type of situation at the back. He is good in passing and most importantly – has the recovery pace to match the runs of any forward in the league. Hence, Konate could be an ideal centre-back in Emery’s system that runs with a high defensive line.
Furthermore, his returns this season have been fantastic, to say the least. The Frenchman has completed 1.8 tackles and 2.4 interceptions per game. He wins aerial duels at a rate of 3.6, meaning the 19-year-old is a genuine threat from set-pieces in the opposition box.
The pass success of over 75% shows he is an all-around centre-back who can match the way how Emery wants his defenders to play. Thus, Arsenal are right in scouting Ibrahima Konate and should sign him the summer window.
Stats via Whoscored.com