Europa League finalists Arsenal have been linked with Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng who has two years left on his contract.
According to a report on Football London, the German giants have slapped a price tag of €20m on the 30-year-old defender after asking the right-footed centre-back to find a new club in the summer. Gunners’ rivals, Manchester United are also interested in the German international and a mini-bidding war could ensue between the two clubs who will be representing England in the European second-tier competition next season.
Boateng lifted the domestic double for the fourth time in his career, winning another Bundesliga title and the German cup with the club but managed a mere 28 appearances across all competitions.
Jerome Boateng at Emirates: Pros and Cons
The German international has won almost everything on the big stage from the FIFA World Cup to Champions League to every domestic cup competition he has featured in since moving to Bayern Munich. He is a versatile defender who mainly features as a centre-back but can switch to either flank in the right-back or left-back role in case the situation arises.
There is no denying the quality of the Bayern defender, who still has a couple of solid years left in him at the top tier of world football. The 30-year-old could bring some stability to the Arsenal back line which has been abysmal for quite some time now irrespective of the manager.
Boateng, one of the best centre-backs in world football at one time, has struggled with recurrent injuries over the last few years though. After a nightmare World Cup campaign in Russia where he saw his team getting knocked out in the group stages, he only managed 20 games in the Bundesliga.
Although his fitness issues seem to be a growing worry, his prowess as a defender hasn’t been questioned yet. The German international is known for his ability to build up play from the back with exquisite passing skills and he didn’t disappoint anyone on that front, averaging a passing accuracy of 88.2% last campaign.
With a 6ft 3in frame, any concerns over his aerial prowess, strength, physicality and his chances of survival in the Premier League at this stage are not major worries and his previous experience with Manchester City will help him re-familiarise with the conditions quickly. He managed an average of 1.4 interceptions and 1.3 successful aerial duels per game last season which are also decent stats.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who sets his team to build up from the back, could use a defender of Boateng’s ilk. The German, however, has lost some pace, due to his recurring injuries and will not add that aspect to an already slow Arsenal backline. Another potential roadblock to any move could be the touted price tag of €20m, which will eat a major chunk into the reported transfer kitty of £40m which Emery is likely to get, having failed to ensure Champions League football for next season.