Back in May, it was claimed that Arsenal were interested in Olympiacos’ defender, Ousseynou Ba, so where did that interest go?
Greek outlet Sportime (via Sport Witness) claimed that Arsenal held an interest in signing Olympiacos centre-back Ousseynou Ba. He reportedly caught the eye in the Europa League clash between the two, and the Gunners started following him.
According to the claims at the time, Arsenal saw Ba as an ideal signing as he was still young enough for further development. At 24, with a contract until 2023, Olympiacos were said to want around €20m for him despite him currently being worth around £3.6m.
A month before that, another Greek outlet, Efsyn, also reported on Arsenal’s supposed interest.
Around that time, a lot was changing every week at the height of the pandemic but it appears the Greek media at least believed Mikel Arteta was after the Senegal-born defender for more than a month.
Are Arsenal still interested in Ousseynou Ba?
Ba made 18 appearances last season before the shutdown, breaking into the team properly in December before a particularly good run in 2020.
He helped his side to eight clean sheets in 13 games since the turn of the year, not missing a single match. Plus, of course, he played a part in the embarrassing two-legged victory over Arsenal and subsequent 1-1 draw with Wolves.
A move away this summer certainly doesn’t seem impossible. If Olympiacos want €20m and he’s worth around €4m, he would probably move for about €12m and could be seen as a back-up option to William Saliba given the fact we are trying to sell Calum Chambers (right), Rob Holding (right), Shkodran Mustafi (right), and Sokratis (right) this summer.
It might not be such a bad idea to bring in some right-footed players and Ba is certainly that.
Arsenal have already signed Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes should be an Arsenal player soon, unless something dramatic happens (which might be the case, he hasn’t had a medical or agreed a deal with Arsenal for a few days now).
You would assume those two will be first choice.
We also have David Luiz (right), who we know we aren’t going to sell. We also brought Pablo Mari to the club on a permanent basis and Arsene Wenger always said four was the right number of centrebacks to keep at the club to keep them all happy.
Since that one month when Ba was linked by the media in Greece, his name hasn’t been mentioned alongside Arsenal’s that much.
What seems most likely to have happened is Arsenal thought they spotted a cheap gem in the opposition and watched him for a while. In doing that, they realised why his value was so low.
Or maybe they’re just still watching, creepy as that sounds.
Interesting side note, Ousseynou Ba was uncovered by Nottingham Forest’s technical director, Francois Modesto, who used to be a scout for the Greek side.