Atletico Madrid talent emerges as Arsenal’s defensive solution

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As Arsenal and Arsene Wenger continue to struggle in their efforts to complete the signing of Shkodran Mustafi, alternative targets have emerged this week and one of them is Atletico Madrid’s highly-talented Jose Gimenez.

The 21-year-old centre-half has made 64 appearances for Atletico across the last two seasons, helping the club reach the Champions League final last term.

With the Gunners stumbling over Mustafi’s fee, it may seem odd for the club to seek the £40m-rated Gimenez, but his youth should help ease that outlay.

There’s little doubting the Uruguyan’s quality, with defensive mastermind Diego Simeone placing increasing confidence in Gimenez over the past two seasons.

Arsenal’s defensive frailties were woefully exposed on Sunday, when Liverpool and Philippe Coutinho’s attacking talent proved far too much in a 4-3 win.

Rob Holding and Calum Chambers were the Gunners’ central pairing last weekend, and their performance only served to heighten Arsenal’s need for quality at the back.

Southampton’s Jose Fonte has also been linked with a move to the Emirates, but Manchester United appear to be favourites in that particular race.

But Ginemez is younger than either Mustafi or Fonte, and boasts plenty of pace and strength, in addition to an excellent reading of the game honed by his time in the Spanish capital.

He may cost a lot more than the other two, but the Uruguayan’s potential rewards may make that worthwhile.

But as Wenger continues to take his time in the transfer market, it seems the Gunners must make do with Holding and Chambers again as they take on the reigning champions this weekend.

Leicester have endured a pretty ropey start to the year too however, with the bookies making Arsenal slight favourites for Saturday’s tea-time clash at 7/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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