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According to reports, Arsenal has furthered their interest in the highly-rated Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman has caught the attention of several English top club including the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City.
The race for the 25-year old will be a tight one and with Arsenal determined to raid the transfer market this summer, after loads of criticism from fans and supporters, the Gunners are hoping to win the race. The Gunners’ defense has suffered lots of setback this season and this has seen them concede 40 goals with seven more fixtures to go.
New signing Shkodran Mustafi started his debut season with the North London club on a good note but as the season progressed, his performance deteriorated. Ageing skipper, Laurent Koscielny has been injury prone and his back-up Gabriel Paulista has fallen below expectation.
Things went out of control to the extent that, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who was stuck on the four-man defense formation for the past 21 years, had to change his back line to the trending three-man defense. While it worked in their favor in their first away game, it would need quality players to make it work effectively.
Apparently, the Frenchman is ready to stick with it and is planning his summer signing around that formation. According to reports, the Gunners have already added Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac to their rank with current full-back Nacho Monreal leaving for Spain in the summer. Van Dijk is next on Wenger list of players to sign to the Emirates.
Despite obvious disapproval from the fans, the club has offered their age-old manager another contract for two more seasons with changes in policy, and signing quality players regardless of the cost is one of the changes.
The Dutch centre-half transferred to Southampton from Scottish giants Celtic in 2015 for a deal worth £13m and has since then become a top class player for the side and the club is not oblivious to the attention the 25-year is getting. Van Dijk has excellent dribbling and passing skills, which makes him comparable to Mustafi and his presence in the team will bring stability to the position.
Van Dijk’s contracted with Southampton is still valid till 2022 and whosoever desires to add him to their rank will be spending hugely. With Arsenal likely to qualify for the Europa League next year, the squad would need standard players who can endure the challenge that comes with it and Van Dijk is no doubt a player of such caliber.