Arsenal Opinion: Emery must make a move for Willi Orban
Arsenal’s emphatic and albeit surprising win over Manchester United should prove to be a catalyst for the club’s charge towards a Champions League spot. But at the same time, it’s a step that should be taken very carefully given the state of their back-line.
Both Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding are out with long-term injuries, which has made Arsenal’s backline look thinner than normal. That along with Laurent Koscienly and Nacho Monreal’s ageing legs has proven to be a big issue for the club.
While Sokratis Papastathopoulos has patched up whatever holes he could, there is only so much the Greek centre-back can do.
That’s exactly why the Premier League side have been linked with moves for Nicolas Tagliafico (Mirror) and Ruben Dias (Football London). Given the problems the club has had with their centre-backs, one man they should target is Willi Orban. Given his obvious talent, he would be a great signing.
The 26-year-old Hungarian arrived at Leipzig four years ago from FC Kaiserlautern and has since become a key fixture in their team.
While the likes of Timo Werner, Naby Keita, Emil Forsberg and even Marcel Sabitzer got the plaudits during Leipzig’s wonder season, Orban was the silent partner manning the back-line.
Without him, the Bundesliga side would have had no chance of finishing second behind Bayern Munich during the 2016/17 season.
Things have changed since then and Orban has matured into his role as the club’s captain. That’s exactly why Unai Emery should sign Orban, because the Hungarian will add stability to Arsenal.
As mentioned, Sokratis has been a brilliant defender since his arrival but the Greek cannot do everything. Adding Willi Orban will give the 30-year-old a good partner in defence, and moreover, someone who loves defending as much as the former Dortmund star does.
The Hungarian averages 1.8 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 5.3 clearances per game according to Whoscored.
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That’s better than every Arsenal player barring only Shkodran Mustafi, who averages two tackles a game this season. The ball-playing defender has a very bright future and it’s a move that the North London side have to make to be able to compete in the Premier League.
While there will be a transition period, Willi Orban’s mentality and athleticism make him perfect for the English top-tier. Moreover, it’s a move that Arsenal will regret if they don’t make it, given his obvious quality.
While there will be a transition period, Willi Orban’s mentality and athleticism make him perfect for the English top tier. Moreover, it’s a move that Arsenal will regret if they don’t make it, as few players come as affordable as the 26 year old.