Most people would agree that Arsenal have done pretty good business during the summer transfer window, adding a bit more defensive solidity to their squad as Unai Emery bids to restore the good times to the Emirates Stadium.
Unfortunately for the former Sevilla and PSG boss, however, injuries to both Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac have left him somewhat short at left-back heading into the new campaign, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles expected to fill in there against Manchester City.
If the latest media reports are to be believed, then one more permanent solution to the problem could be found in the shape of AC Milan’s Ricardo Rodriguez, with the Switzerland international being linked with a £30m move to North London.
An adventurous full-back and set-piece specialist, securing the 25-year-old’s signature would pave the way for Monreal to return to Spain, with Real Sociedad said to be keen on taking him back to his homeland.
Between the beginning of February 2013 and the end of May 2017, the contrast between the two men’s top-flight numbers was pretty stark, with Rodriguez serving up a plethora of goals and assists for VfL Wolfsburg and his counterpart at Arsenal defending far more impressively:
|DEF 25Y 11M 5FT 11IN||DEF 32Y 5M 5FT 10IN|
Feb 2013 - May 2017
Goals with feet
Goals with head
Minutes per goal against
Somewhat unsurprisingly, however, the Swiss star found his feet defensively in Serie A last term, playing a part in 11 of the Italian giants’ 12 clean sheets, as well as gaining a real understanding of the position:
|CLUB Milan||AGE 25Y 11M|
|POS DEF||HEIGHT 5FT 11IN|
Avg Goal for
Avg Goals against
Mins per goal for
Mins per goal against
Shots for per game
Points per game
That record has clearly persuaded the powers that be at the Emirates Stadium that the 25-year-old is now ready for life in the Premier League, though his current employers are likely to fight tooth and nail to keep hold of such an important member of their back-four.
The Acca Smacker
For fans across the continent, the excitement is building. A new season is here and optimism is rife. Will new signings stun? Will titles be won? Everyone hopes, but nobody knows. Domestic football’s back, and we could be happier.
KickOff’s unique Acca Smacker is also making a timely return, bringing you Predictions, Form Streaks and Form Stats for every market, every match and every top competition. We’ve made building a winning bet so easy it feels like cheating, so why not have a go below and give those bookies a bashing?