Arsenal Could Sign £30m "Warrior" To Ease Timber Blow
The Gunners could ease their devastating blow by signing a £30m "warrior".
Arsenal will have to scramble to fix their latest injury issue, which could prove to be a lengthy and frustrating one for fans and Mikel Arteta alike...
The Gunners were rocked earlier this week, as the news regarding Jurrien Timber's injury was released.
The Dutchman, who had been signed just this summer for a £38m fee, was forced off after just 50 minutes in their opening-day Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest.
The defender was brought in with his versatility in mind, as his ability to feature at both right-back and centre-back offered key depth for a squad that was ravaged by injuries at periods last season.
However, The Athletic suggest that he is set to be out for a "lengthy period of time", with tests upcoming to determine the exact length. The Daily Mail suggests he'll be out for a minimum of six months.
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So, it makes sense that the potential replacement for the Dutchman could come in a similar mould, with Fabrizio Romano once again claiming on Tuesday that they remain interested in Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte.
What makes this deal even more tempting is the fact that he will reportedly cost just £30m, but with Saudi Arabian clubs now sniffing, this is a switch which must be fast-tracked.
Although more capable of deputising at left-back as well as centre-back, such a move will still offer a similar amount of cover with far more experience.
After all, the 29-year-old has had a hand in five Premier League title wins, as well as numerous domestic honours. He would add plenty of trophy-winning know-how into a young dressing room, brimming with enough talent to challenge for elite titles this campaign.
Since joining in 2018, the Spain international has gone on to feature 180 times for the Citizens, often starring despite falling down the pecking order more recently.
In fact, during the 2021/22 term, the former Athletic Bilbao stopper posted some exceptional numbers in the passing department, notably a 95% pass accuracy, via Sofascore.
Such form even before this had led Pep Guardiola to suggest: "he is the best left-sided centre back in the world".
Journalist Bill DiFilippo even outlined his steely nature too, to complement his technical prowess, simply claiming: "Laporte is a warrior".
Although losing Timber is certainly a devastating blow, his proficiency in possession can be matched by the qualities of Laporte. Although, Kees van Wonderen, a former coach of his, did give a glowing recommendation that would suggest he'd be far from easy to emulate:
"He’s a team player, technically skilled, he’s self-confident and one of the best aspects that combines everything is how he reads the game. He knows how to defend, he knows how to attack, he knows how to find the spaces, he knows how to face opponents in how they press.
"Some players you need to tell them things over and over again, but he understands really quickly. He combines his technical ability with his mindset and his tactical awareness on the pitch. That’s so important in the modern player."
Despite this, whilst the Dutchman ranks in the top 1% for progressive passes and progressive carries per 90 when compared to other centre-backs across Europe, funnily enough so does the former Guardiola favourite.
Although not the perfect stand-in, there are enough similarities to suggest that this would mark an intelligent piece of business by Arteta to pad out a squad with strong title ambitions this term.
Callum is a freelance writer for Football FanCast, having worked in the football industry ever since graduation.Having left University in 2022, Callum was instantly offered a place within Football FanCast's academy process, where he was handed a role as part of the freelance opinions team. This has been his role ever since.Since then, Callum also took on a role cultivating content for the website's Facebook account too, helping to bolster the reach of Football FanCast.Callum is a huge Everton fan and has written and featured on numerous fan sites talking about the club.How long is Jurrien Timber injured for?How good is Aymeric Laporte?