Despite Arsenal having some great success in the transfer window so far, it has lacked the impetus expected from Arsene Wenger in what could be his last couple of seasons at the Emirates. They signed Sead Kolasinac for free to shore-up the defence and left-back position and spent a club-record fee to bring in Alexandre Lacazette to finally give Arsenal a true striker.
Now, reports from Italy claim that the Gunners are in pursuit of one of Juventus’ prized centre-backs, Daniele Rugani. With Arsenal’s last two games showing Arsene Wenger utilising the three-at-the-back formation to great effect, defeating Chelsea in both of their last competitive matches to win two trophies, they could do with a centre-back who is more experienced in the role.
Daniele Rugani has been in the Juventus system since February 2015, and the club has been moulding him into their next centre-back star. Having been blooded into the first team over the last couple of seasons, the Italian champions have effectively put their trust in Rugani for the upcoming campaign.
This comes after the huge-spending AC Milan managed to claw top centre-back Leonardo Bonucci away from Juventus and the champions decided not to sign a replacement following the transfer. They did get Medhi Benatia from Bayern Munich during the Kingsley Coman negotiations, but since Bonucci left, Juve haven’t signed and kept another centre-back.
This puts the 6’3’’ 23-year-old in a prime position to get a lot more game time, and that appears to be the way in which Juventus are going with him. So, losing him this late in the transfer window could be catastrophic to the team. Due to a fantastic summer of signings, AC Milan have closed in to 13/2 in the Serie A betting. Juventus are still clear favourites, but given the immense talent fluxed into AC Milan, perhaps the odds should reflect a closer race as the challengers certainly have the tools to have a good run at the title.
It’s hard to ignore both Juventus’ six-season winning streak of Serie A and the immense team that AC Milan have built, so this could make for the most competitive campaign for years, which Juventus will not want to be pulled into. Keeping their future star Daniele Rugani is a must if they wish to remain dominant, so they’re very unlikely to let him go.
The fact that Arsenal are being linked to centre-backs, especially someone as talented and tactically-sound as Rugani, is a great sign and will hopefully bear fruit before the end of the transfer window. Unfortunately, however, it seems extremely unlikely that the Italian giants would let Ruagni leave – they simply need him too much this season.
Much of the other transfer talk surrounds attacking players such as Thomas Lemar, Lucas Moura, and Ousmane Dembele, most likely because of the Alexis Sanchez situation. But, if Arsene Wenger wants to continue down the three-at-the-back route, he will want to sign a central defender experienced with the tactical structure of the formation, instead of relying on full-backs to get the job done over the long season.
If the Gunners do end up getting Daniele Rugani, it would be a fantastic signing, but it looks rather unlikely at this point.