According to France Football print edition from Wednesday the 9th of December, Arsenal has been closely looking at Stade de Reims’ captain Aissa Mandi.
The 24-year-old Algerian international came through the ranks at the famous French team that reached the Champions Cup final two seasons in a row in the 50’s losing twice to Real Madrid. He started at eight years old and went all the way to the first team.
He is a polyvalent defender who can play either at right back or center-back. He has played 13 games out 18 this season for a total of 1148 minutes, has scored one goal and got one booking so far this season.
He is 184cm tall for 78kg, three centimeters smaller than Gabriel and one centimeter smaller than Koscielny. He would fit without problem alongside a taller defender like Mertesacker or cover for Bellerin at right-back once Debuchy has left for pastures new.
Mandi is closing on 150 appearances for Stade de Reims and has six Algerian caps as well. France Football noted that he is a very serious professional as following their away trip to Guingamp on a midweek evening game, he requested the training ground to be opened late at night, so that he could have balneotherapy to help his physical recovery.
It would make sense for Arsenal to buy next Summer a relatively cheap but promising defender capable of covering two positions to compete with Chambers and Jenkinson to be in the 18 players matchday squad.