Arsenal reportedly eye defender that idolised Per Mertesacker and Manchester City star John Stones
Arsenal are reportedly closing in on a move to sign Bayer Leverkusen defender Edmond Tapsoba this summer. Back in 2020, Tapsoba claimed that he idolised Per Mertesacker and Man City defender John Stones during his academy days.
Tapsoba, 22, has been in excellent form for Leverkusen since joining the German side from Portuguese outfit Vitoria. He has clocked up 61 appearances for Leverkusen in the 18 months he has spent in Germany. His form is catching the attention of those from the Premier League.
According to Tuttomercatoweb, Arsenal are closing in on the signing of the 14-time Burkina Faso international. It is unclear how much the Gunners are ready to spend on him, but Liverpool did make an enquiry for him in the previous window – and were told to spend £44million for his signature.
Speaking to the Bundesliga’s official website following his move to Leverkusen, Tapsoba was asked which players inspired him during his academy years and the defender picked current Arsenal employee Mertesacker – as well as the surprise choice of Man City ace Stones.
“I would say Per Mertesacker, from Germany, is a player that I liked a lot when I was younger. When I started to grow older I liked John Stones a lot too. I watched all the videos on YouTube. I would say that’s what inspired me.” Tapsoba told the Bundesliga’s official website.
Is Tapsoba the answer to Arsenal’s defensive woes?
While he is clearly an impressive defender, he is hardly the experienced, commanding leader that is required to stem the flow of goals at the back. Gabriel has been a top signing, Rob Holding is improving and if Pablo Mari can remain injury free – he is also showing signs of being a good signing.
But The Gunners need an experienced defender that boasts leadership. None of the aforementioned trio are that figure – whereas, David Luiz is, but he is about to depart. Tapsoba is good, but he isn’t that man either.
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