Who is Monaco defender Marcel Tisserand and what would he offer Arsenal?
It has been no secret that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been under increasing pressure to add to his side, particularly at the back, after injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista severely depleted his defensive options. In an attempt to remedy the situation, Wenger has engaged himself in a long drawn-out transfer saga in an attempt to bring German international Shkodran Mustafi to the Emirates.
However, with the deal hitting snag after snag over the German’s release clause at the Mestalla, Wenger has allegedly been prepared to look elsewhere regarding defensive additions, and one supposed target is AS Monaco’s Congolese international defender Marcel Tisserand.
Born in France, Arsenal’s latest target qualified internationally for DR Congo through his mother, and came through the youth system at the Stade Louis II. Despite making 45 appearances for Monaco’s academy team, he has struggled to break into the first team reckoning at the principality club, with only six senior appearances for the Rouge et Blanc.
For the previous two seasons, Tisserand has been out on loan at Ligue 1 rivals Toulouse, making 38 league appearances and helping the club stave off relegation in his two seasons there. He is a versatile defender, capable of featuring at right-back as well as in the centre-half position, and that versatility may be all important for Wenger’s threadbare defence.
With Mathieu Debuchy also facing the prospect of an exit, a versatile figure to fill in at right-back if necessary will be all important, with no stand-in for Hector Bellerin bar Carl Jenkinson left at the club, though for the meantime the centre-half position will be the priority and Tisserand is a player who may fit what Arsenal are seeking.
At Toulouse, 23-year-old Tisserand has become known for his no nonsense style. If the ball is in the danger zone he will simply aim to clear it out, he is adept at positioning himself to make vital interceptions, is a proficient marker and is blessed with pace and strength with which to stay close to pacey forwards. His clear the ball on impact instinct renders him a player somewhat weak and playing out from the back however, which may be an issue in terms of fitting Arsene Wenger’s style of play.
Though what he lacks in his passing game he makes up for in his tendency to dribble forward and his aerial prowess. Although he may not be the complete ball playing defender Wenger may require, his no risk attitude and mentality will be an excellent addition to an Arsenal defence that suffers given its inexperience. Wenger’s patchwork defence was brutally exposed on the opening weekend against Liverpool after shipping five goals at the Emirates against the Reds, but the side settled and responded well to earn a point at defending champions Leicester City, but Wenger will know that more is required.
The Congolese’s straightforward approach to the game and his strong reading of the match would prove invaluable to Arsenal when under pressure, and having featured in a side that has been forced to roll their socks up and battle against the drop, he has experience in big-game league situations and will have developed a winners’ desire and mentality to triumph, as well as the capacity to keep fighting when luck goes against you; qualities that Wenger needs in his team to effectively blood the Gunners’ youngsters. and keep the club ticking in the league.
Despite his young age therefore, Marcel Tisserand would have a great deal to offer Arsenal at the back, but with other European clubs such as Saint-Étienne and RCD Espanyol in the market for him, the Gunners can do far worse than to make their decisive move soon if they wish to secure this signing.
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