Arsenal Show Strong Interest in RB Leipzig Defender Mohamed Simakan
According to reports, Arsenal are showing interest in signing RB Leipzig defender Mohamed Simakan in the summer transfer window. The Gunners are keen on bolstering their defence ahead of the 2023/24 campaign and the French centre-back has emerged as one of their potential targets.
Arsenal’s defensive struggles in the absence of William Saliba is quite evident. In the 27 league matches where Saliba started before suffering a lower back injury in March, the team conceded only 25 goals. However, in the six matches where Rob Holding replaced the Frenchman in the starting lineup, they conceded a total of 13 goals.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Simakan has enjoyed a good 2022/23 season with RB Leipzig defensively, besides scoring 3 goals and assisting 8 times in 37 appearances in all competitions. His current contract with the Bundesliga club extends until 2027.
According to Football London, Arsenal have expressed strong interest in signing Mohamed Simakan this summer. Primarily a centre-back, the France U-21 international has also played in the right-back role for the German side. thus, bringing in the defender would make a lot of sense for the North London side.
The 23-year-old’s current market value, as estimated by Football Transfers, is €34.5m (£30m). However, considering that he still has four years remaining on his current deal, the actual cost of acquiring him could surpass this valuation. This contractual situation could play a significant role during transfer discussions.
Nothing advanced or imminent at this stage but Simakan is one of the CBs monitored by Arsenal board. pic.twitter.com/Rch0BERESs
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 12, 2023
Mohamed Simakan, a talented defender capable of operating as both a centre-back and a right-back, has made notable contributions to his team’s success, scoring one goal and providing three assists in the Champions League (stats via Transfermarkt).
Prior to joining RB Leipzig, the Frenchman played for Strasbourg from 2019 to 2021. The young defender made a move to the Bundesliga club in the summer of 2021, commanding a transfer fee of approximately £15 million, and has since become an integral part of the squad.
Defensively, he exhibits an aggressive and determined style of play, fearlessly engaging in tackles. He possesses exceptional strength and athleticism, utilizing these attributes to overpower opponents and succeed in duels. His speed and agility enable him to recover swiftly and execute crucial tackles when necessary.
Additionally, the physical attributes of Mohamed Simakan bear similarities to those of Raphael Varane, making him an exciting prospect for further development at Arsenal. Furthermore, he demonstrates astute game-reading skills, allowing him to anticipate opponents’ movements and intercept attacks before they materialize.
The 23-year-old centre-back is comfortable with a high defensive line and is unafraid to press opponents, unsettling attackers and pressuring them into committing errors. His defensive attributes would certainly be a boost for the North London side, especially in the absence of their primary centre-backs.
While Arsenal, under the management of Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu, have gained a reputation for prudent spending, they may need to be prepared to pay a significant amount to secure the services of Mohamed Simakan.
Additionally, Premier League rivals Manchester United have also expressed interest in the U-21 France international. Despite the attention from multiple clubs, RB Leipzig are known to be tough negotiators and are unlikely to make concessions easily.
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