Arsenal eyeing Bundesliga defender they’re ‘long-term admirers’ of ahead of summer window

Edmond Tapsoba, Bayer Leverkusen, November 2022 Credit: Alamy
Edmond Tapsoba, Bayer Leverkusen, November 2022 Credit: Alamy

Arsenal are reportedly ‘keeping a close eye on’ Bayer Leverkusen defender Edmond Tapsoba, who they have been ‘long-term admirers’ of, ahead of a potential summer move.

It’s been almost two years since the Gunners were first linked with the Burkina Faso international. Indeed, Tapsoba had been at Leverkusen not much longer than a year at that point.

He remained with the Bundesliga side despite that interest, and has now made more than 100 appearances for them.

Injuries have meant he’s not been in the side consistently. Indeed, he sat on the sidelines for a good chunk of last season, playing just 22 Bundesliga games.

Tapsoba has almost beaten that tally already this season. He’s started every single one of Leverkusen’s league games this term – 21 – and has only missed one game in all competitions.

His importance in the defence is likely one of the reasons Arsenal are still keeping tabs on him. Indeed, journalist Steve Kay reports Mikel Arteta’s side are ‘keeping a close eye on’ Tapsoba.

He also referenced that Arsenal have been ‘long-term admirers’ of the defender who has apparently ‘admitted’ he is ‘happy’ with interest from the north London outfit.

Arsenal’s defence has been in great shape this season. At the start of the last round of games, only Newcastle United had conceded less goals.

William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes have formed a solid partnership at centre-back. That’s moved Ben White – who played there last season – to right-back, where he has been solid.

The club also have Rob Holding and Jakub Kiwior to call upon from the bench if needed. However, the former is used sporadically and the latter is yet to play since his move in January.

Furthermore, Saliba – whose contract runs out next season – is yet to renew his deal. As such, it makes sense as to why the Gunners have eyes on another centre-back target.

While it’s likely Saliba will renew his deal, Tapsoba could leapfrog Holding in pecking order and potentially challenge the starters.

It would be a tough task to displace them, but it seems there would be little reason for Arsenal’s interest if they didn’t think he had a chance of doing so and becoming a legitimate star at the club.

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