• Riccardo Calafiori Is Close To Joining Arsenal
  • How Does He Make Them Better?

Arsenal are in advanced talks to sign Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori. The North Londoners and Chelsea are the two Premier League clubs interested in the 22-year-old defender.

According to recent reports, Calafiori is open to joining Arsenal, and the Gunners have presented their project to him.

Negotiations is moving in the right direction, and if all goes to plan, Calafiori should be an Arsenal player by the end of July.

If this move goes through, it is a net positive for all parties involved, but on the longer term, Arsenal stand to gain more.

Calafiori is a “Swiss Army Knife’ type of player to have in the initial 3rd of the pitch. With Mikel Arteta emphasizing the need for his title chasing Arsenal side to remain strong at the back, Calafiori’s signing makes sense.

The Italian defender is a Left center-back – Left back hybrid. He can play as the left center-back in a 3-man defence for the Gunners. When Arsenal shift to attacking mode, Calafiori has the ability to act as a left back. He will be exactly what Josko Gvardiol is for Manchester City.

Riccardo Calafiori
Via Datamb

With his Italian background, Calafiori prioritizes defending, nd keeping things tight at the back. He doesn’t just jump forward aimlessly and leave spaces behind, and that is one of his key strengths.

He offers more than being Arsenal’s Josko Gvardiol. The Italian can act also as a receiver in the middle when Arsenal need to unpredictable in build-up.

His signing allows Arsenal to be more unpredictable for opponents with their defensive shape, and also when playing out of the back.

Despite his emphasis on defending first, under the right manager, Calafiori can be quite productive in attack. At the tail end of last season under Thiago Motta, the defender provided 3 assists and scored 2 goals in Bologna’s last 6 matches.

An underrated part of his game is his passing. He is a good passer, and an excellent progressive carrier (He ranks in the 91st percentile for the later). His decision making as to when to progress the ball is part of the reason why he was able to maintain an average 7.3 rating throughout the whole of last season.

At 22, Riccardo Calafiori has solid foundations in everything Arsenal want in his position. He is also an excellent leader on the pitch.

He will need time to settle to the change in pace of the matches in the Premier League just like Gvardiol needed last season. However, Arsenal are getting themselves a £50 million bargain if they get the deal over the line.