Arsenal have joined Atletico Madrid in the race to sign Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico; it has been claimed.
According to Daily Mail, The Gunners are ready to rival the La Liga outfit in the pursuit of the Argentine defender, who starred in Ajax’s famous 4-1 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League last week.
It is believed that Ajax could be willing to sell Tagliafico for a fee of €8 million in the summer, which is barely a snip in the market for a club like Arsenal.
Nicolas Tagliafico: A smart addition to Arsenal
Tagliafico rose to prominence in the Eredivisie during the second half of last season. The 26-year-old was involved in three goals in 15 games for Ajax, and his consistent performances in the Dutch top flight eventually led to his selection in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Although it was a disastrous World Cup campaign for the Argentine national team, Tagliafico acquitted himself well with his technical prowess and mobility down the left flank. And the former Independiente star has continued his success in the Eredivisie this season, being involved in four goals in 18 matches for Ajax while scoring three goals in the Champions League.
As his impressive record would suggest, Tagliafico is a productive left-back who likes to get forward and provide additional attacking support in the final third. In fact, the 26-year-old has delivered 1.5 key passes per game – a tally only bettered by Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech in the team this season.
Tagliafico is also an aggressive tackler, having won over two tackles per game with a success rate of 65% while his tally of 1.5 clearances per game is only bettered by two other of his teammates, including star defender Mathijs de Ligt.
Moreover, the Argentine international has averaged 55 passes per game, which reflects his ability to thrive in a possession-based game, meaning he would definitely be a perfect fit for Arsenal.
The Gunners have lacked resources in the fullback department, with the likes of Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac struggling with frequent injuries within the past one and a half years.
Thus, the addition of Tagliafico will not only provide Unai Emery with an additional option in defence, but his style of play will also tune in well with the Spaniard’s tactical philosophy at the Emirates.
And for a fee of just €8 million, Tagliafico will be more than just a bargain for the Gunners, although they will have to act swiftly with Atletico Madrid also keen on securing the services of the Argentine international.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored