Whether Arsenal goes on to be crowned unexpected Premier League champions come the end of the 2022-23 campaign, one thing is abundantly clear; Mikel Arteta’s Gunners are very much back among English football’s elite.
Across a season where the young Arsenal side has done so well to push Pep Guardiola’s holders to their absolute limits while serving up memorable moments all along the way, plans to keep the club at its current level, or better, are well underway regarding the upcoming summer window.
As rumors persist around names the likes of Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo, a new name has been thrown into the mix earlier today after The Guardian’s Ed Aarons reported that Arsenal is showing “strong interest” in RB Leipzig’s Mohamed Simakan.
The 23-year-old Marseille-born defender profiles as a versatile player who is equally capable of being deployed on the right side of a center-back pairing as well as at right-back, immediately drawing comparisons to Ben White and the preference of both Mikel Arteta and club technical director Edu Gaspar to bring in players capable at two or three positions.
Currently valued at €28m (per Transfermarkt), Simakan’s possible price tag, even if double his market value, still would place him in a price bracket that Arsenal prefers to operate in at right around the £50m mark. Wages would hardly be an issue as well despite the recent extension of his terms in Saxony, with the former Strasbourg man sitting on €32k/week according to Capology.
Some fans are sure to question what his potential acquisition would mean for the likes of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Rob Holding, but the current situation this season for Arsenal suggests that a signing of Simakan’s profile both in terms of depth and talent is required at the Emirates Stadium.
Simakan’s purchase would likely seal Holding’s fate and see the club move on from him come the summer, with the Frenchman offering a player who could push both William Saliba and Ben White for competitive minutes on the back of Champions League football returning to north London.
It remains unclear how concrete the club’s interest is, but it is the exact profile of player Artera and Edu have put faith in to push the club to where it currently sits on the footballing landscape in England.