Arsenal are interested in the prospect of signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin from Mainz this summer, per The Daily Express.
The Gunners, according to the report, tabled a bid for the 23-year-old last summer as they looked to bolster their defence.
And after failing to secure a defensive reinforcement in the January transfer window, it is reported that the club have reignited their interest in Gbamin.
Mainz, the Express report, value Gbamin at around £40million and it remains to be seen if Arsenal will be willing to match that asking price.
Football FanCast look at the potential consequences of the Gunners securing the defender’s services…
Shkodran Mustafi has been a walking disaster zone in recent seasons.
The defender has done nothing to mark himself out as a Premier League-level centre-back since his move from Valencia in 2016.
Arsenal paid £35m to take him away from the Spanish club and, after a half-decent start, his stay in north London has been characterised by hesitant defending and a number of high-profile gaffes.
Check out Neymar’s controversial new haircut for 2019 and Xherdan Shaqiri as you’ve never seen him before in the video below…
Bringing in Gbamin is something of a risk, as he has never played Premier League football, but it would allow Unai Emery to move Mustafi on.
Arsenal are not likely to turn a profit on the Germany international, but they can shift him off the books and ensure they do not have to suffer many more mistakes from the 26-year-old.
Arsenal turn to youth
Arsenal have a history of signing young players and embedding them into the first-team. Gbamin is just 23 and his signing could mark something of a change in recent transfer strategy.
The likes of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all over the age of 28 and have joined the club in recent seasons.
But securing Gbamin would be more akin to the signing of 19-year-old Matteo Guendouzi, offering fans hope of a potential switch to bringing in younger, more promising players.
It must be said, of course, that the defender already has an international pedigree – he has won five caps for the Ivory Coast and has also made over 80 appearances for Mainz, who are understandably keen to hold onto one of their prized assets.
Emery allowed control over transfers
After the departure of Sven Mislintat as the club’s Head of Recruitment, it appears that some of his responsibility may well fall to Emery.
And that would be good news for Arsenal fans.
Emery has been trying to implement a very specific style in recent months and has repeatedly had to place round pegs in square holes.
Allowing the manager the chance to have the final say on transfers offers up the prospect of Arsenal recruiting players who suit his style, and who can instantly adapt to life in the Premier League.
Gbamin may well be one such acquisition. He was pursued by the club in the summer and Emery now appears ready to go back with another bid.
That is a high recommendation for the young Ivorian, but it remains to be seen if the deal gets done. If it is, Emery deserves a lot of the credit.
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