It used to be that the majority of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal signings were French, or came from a French club. But as Alan Pardew seems to be muscling in on that strategy, the FA Cup winning boss seems to have changed tack.
A known admirer of countries producing stellar young players, Wenger seems to have eyed Germans or Bundesliga buys as the better option over French stars these days.
That preference could yet be realised in the 64-year-old’s pursuit of a replacement right back for Bacary Sagna, who is looking increasingly likely to chase the paper in a move to Manchester City this summer.
Toulouse’s Serge Aurier has long been thought of as the man Wenger wants to follow in Sagna’s footsteps down the Emirates right flank, but it seems that his head may have been turned by the potential availability of Schalke’s Atsuto Uchida.
Although clearly not German, the Japanese international has been plying his trade in the Bundesliga since 2010 and has developed into one of the league’s most revered defenders.
At 26, Uchida is further along in his footballing development than the more youthful Aurier and, unlike the Ivorian, can play at left back if required too.
Set for a starring role with his national team at the World Cup, Uchida is unlikely to deliberate on a switch to London until after the tournament ends, but if Wenger can stay patient than the 65-cap star could be the perfect solution to the right-back problem.
Atletico Madrid’s 30-year-old Juanfran is another option open to the Frenchman, although he’s thought to be reticent over paying an inflated price for a man approaching the twilight of his career.
Having made just 17 starts in the Bundesliga this season, securing the starting role at next season’s 9/1 Premier League hopefuls could well appeal to Uchida too.
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