Arsenal are on the verge of a revival of sorts under Unai Emery as the Spaniard is bringing his own sets of ideologies and philosophy at the club. After having completed some signings already, the club is undoubtedly looking to revamp their defensive shape. The Gunners were shambolic from a defensive perspective for the major part of last two years, and Emery naturally is keen to inject some pace, energy and youthful exuberance to a fragile-looking backline that Arsenal have currently.
Accordingly, the latest report has linked Junior Firpo, the Real Betis player with a move to the North London club. Arsenal are looking to add some more balance and depth to their defensive setup, it seems and hence the move for Junior Firpo is quite interesting. The lad can play in an advanced, as well as a regressed position on the left flank but appeared sporadically for Betis in the last season.
Junior Firpo: Player Profile
Firpo is quick on the feet and is quite industrious, something that a wide-player is always benefitted from. He is good in the attacking aspect of his game, always keen to get into good crossing positions. Firpo has been fine-tuned defensively too, as he made a good number of 1.9 tackles per game in the league last season. He also intercepted the ball on 1.4 occasions and cleared the ball effectively 1.9 times each game too.
Firpo’s defensive awareness is also highlighted by the fact that he was dribbled past only 0.6 times per game, something that demonstrates that he was often disciplined in the positional sense. He does not compromise on defensive work by overlapping too much and maintains a decent balance between his defensive and forward marauding duties. In 14 appearances, he scored twice and assisted twice too, a good enough stat for someone playing as a left back. Firpo won 1.4 aerial duels on an average too and recorded a passing accuracy of 83.7%.
Should Arsenal make a move?
Possibly, the left-back position was the most secured one for the Gunners last season. As they had signed Sead Kolasinac, the Bosnian and Nacho Monreal combined to fill in that spot quite well for Arsenal. Meanwhile, Monreal was arguably the best player for the Gunners last time around, and was a solid, reliable presence at the back, often offering a good attacking outlet with his aerial prowess too.
Kolasinac is strong and defensively sound, often blocking and cutting off the opposition’s attacking moves through his concentration. Hence, it is doubtful that Arsenal would chase a young left back with relatively lesser experience. For Firpo too, it would be better to stay and continue his progress at Betis, before making a big move ahead. Currently, Arsenal might prefer addressing other loopholes in the squad.