Arsenal transfer news: The Gunners are in the market for a number of players after falling short in the 2022/23 season
Arsenal's options at centre-back have run thin on the ground this season following William Saliba's season-ending injury in March.
Rob Holding had filled in for six games following the Frenchman's injury. In these fixtures, the Gunners conceded 13 goals. January signing Jakub Kiwior has since come in and provided glimpses of what to expect in the future.
Yet the defensive fragilities have been played as one of the main reasons for Arsenal's Premier League title collapse. With the summer transfer window around the corner, it's likely that Mikel Arteta will seek defensive reinforcements.
The return of Champions League football to north London means sporting director Edu Gaspar is faced with the tough task of investing in quality defenders.
Manchester City's options at centre back which include John Stones, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji and Ayemeric Laporte, can serve as an indication in terms of what is required for Arsenal to compete on all fronts next season.
And now, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that the Gunners are tracking Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Edmond Tapsoba. The defender has been linked with a move away from Bundesliga in every transfer window since moving to Germany in 2020.
"Arsenal and Tottenham scouts have monitored Tapsoba in recent games but the race is absolutely open - Bayer will only sell for a huge bid."
The 23-year-old, who has been compared to Bundesliga legend Jerome Boateng, is one of the smartest footballers in the world, with him able to speak six languages including English.
If Arsenal were to make a move for the defender, they would be investing smartly. Tapsoba ranks in the 84th percentile for passes blocked and 86th percentile for tackles won high up the field, according to FBREF, when compared to his positional peers in Europe's top five divisions.
On the ball, the Burkina Faso international ranks in the 89th percentile for completed passes, 91th percentile for passes into the final third and 95th percentile for progressive carrying distance.
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