Arsenal are planning a move for Mainz defender Jean-Philippe Gbamin, but they’ll have to pay €30m to sign him, according to reports in France.
RMC report that Unai Emery has ‘closely followed’ the player, after a strong season with his current club. Gbamin can play several positions, in defence or midfield, and is reportedly ‘very attracted’ to England. Mainz won’t let him leave for less than €30m (£26.4m) though, and RMC say Arsenal will need to be persuasive to land their man.
The 22-year-old’s versatility could make him a very useful asset in North London. He’s split his time between defensive midfield and centre-back this season, two positions where Arsenal would happily take some reinforcements. He has the physical presence to play both roles as well, standing at around 6’1″.
There’s a sense that the Ivorian is still a bit raw at this stage though. He loves to carry the ball and take people on, but gives it away a lot as a result. He takes a shot from outside the box every 1.25 games, but only has one goal all season.
Given Gbamin’s age, those are problems Emery will feel he can iron out. At £26.4m though, the Arsenal transfer team will have to decide if it’s worth the risk.