Greek outlet Sportime have claimed that Arsenal have identified Olympiakos defender Ousseynou Ba as a possible centre-back addition this summer – after facing the Senegalese colossus in the Europa League knockout round.
Ba, 24, only joined Olympiakos last summer but immediately found himself quite some way down the pecking order. Prior to December, Ba had only managed two senior outings for league leaders Olympiakos – who are 14 points clear.
However, a number of injuries saw Ba break into the starting eleven and he has since retained his spot – clocking up 18 in all competitions. His form in the Europa League, which saw Olympiakos knock Arsenal out at the last 32 stage, caught admirers.
Senegalese outlet Le Quotidien claimed earlier this season that Liverpool had identified Ba as a possible signing but that Olympiakos would rather sell him in 2021 – to maximise his value. Now, Arsenal are keen, with Ba rated at £17.5million.
TBR’s view – Is Ba the kind of centre-back Arsenal require?
Standing at a lofty 6ft 3in, and boasting very similar traits to that of Napoli colossus Kalidou Koulibaly, Ba would be a stunning signing. Strength, pace, aerial ability but composure on the ball, Ba’s display at the Emirates in February impressed onlookers.
One thing Ba does lack is experience. That is experience in professional football, having played only 81 matches at senior level despite his age – but also experience at the top level. The games at Arsenal will have been the biggest of his career.
Arsenal need experience to sort out the backline, but that has failed in the form of Sokratis and David Luiz. Perhaps the younger, more exuberant route of William Saliba, Rob Holding and Ba could plug the gap.