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Erik ten Hag’s plans to hijack Edu’s transfer could lead Arsenal to the ideal £21 million acquisition

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The Gunners' main target is Lisandro Martinez, but a deal is proving difficult to secure, so Edu may need to explore at alternatives.

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Erik ten Hag’s plans to hijack Edu’s transfer could lead Arsenal to the ideal £21 million acquisition

Arsenal must strengthen their defensive options at full-back and center-back heading into the new season. 

The Gunners’ main target is Lisandro Martinez, but a deal is proving difficult to secure, so Edu may need to explore at alternatives.

Martinez is Arsenal’s priority, according to The Athletic, due to his versatility to play at both centre-back and left-back.

Martinez is said to be interested in moving to the Emirates Stadium, and Ajax are said to have rejected a deal in the region of £25 million.

However, the same source claims that Manchester United are also interested in the Argentine, with Erik ten Hag potentially being the deciding factor because he previously coached the defender.

With the possibility of a deal being hijacked, Arsenal must look for alternatives, and Evan Ndicka from Eintracht Frankfurt would be an excellent choice.

If Arsenal miss out on Martinez, Ndicka should be the next man in. 

The Frenchman’s contract is slated to expire at the end of the 2022/2023 season, which means the Gunners can sign him on a cheap deal at the end of the current season, since he would just have one year left on his present term. CIES Football Observatory values Ndicka at £21 million.

Newcastle are also interested in signing Ndicka at the end of the season, according to German site  BILD, while the Eintracht Frankfurt defender has previously been linked with moves to Anfield and Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal are currently incredibly low on centre-back alternatives, with Arteta having only three possibilities. 

If Rob Holding leaves during the summer transfer window, Edu would be wise to bring in another defender to complement William Saliba, presuming his future remains at the club following his season-long loan at Marseille.

This might be Arteta’s reasoning for perhaps adding Ndicka and reintroducing Saliba into the squad ahead of the new season. 

Both Saliba and Ndicka are French youth internationals who would complement each other wonderfully due to Ndicka’s left foot and Saliba’s right foot.

Arsenal will also need to sign a full-back ahead of next season to provide more reliable backup for Kierney, who has already been sidelined for the season.

Nuno Tavares, the Scotsman’s current understudy, has played well at times but has often looked shaky at the back.

When you consider Ndicka’s versatility, he becomes an even more appealing signing. 

This season, the teenager has also played at full-back, and he was quite effective in that role against Barcelona at the Camp Nou earlier in the season, when Frankfurt famously won 4-1 over the Catalan team in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Ndicka has the potential to be the excellent replacement for Martinez. It is critical that Edu be proactive rather than reactive in this transfer window, so if the Martinez deal drags on, Arteta should consider other options.

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Erik ten Hag’s plans to hijack Edu’s transfer could lead Arsenal to the ideal £21 million acquisition

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