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Evan NDicka not nearly enough

Arsenal have been named as a suitor of Eintracht Frankfurt centre-back Evan NDicka. However, the Frenchman is not nearly enough to fill the Gunners needs.

On Saturday, Sky Sports named Arsenal and Liverpool as two suitors of French centre-back Evan NDicka. The 20-year-old is currently at Eintracht Frankfurt and has forced his way into the starting XI over the course of the season. Both the Gunners and Liverpool are now keeping tabs on his future.

NDicka is a highly touted young defender. He is left-footed, which is something that is important for Mikel Arteta, who very much prioritises having a balance of left and right-footers in his starting XI, has experience centrally and at left-back, an illustration of his versatility and athleticism, and is seen as a young burgeoning star.

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He is an intriguing addition, the type of player Arsenal should be chasing — the right age, profile, position, suited to the modern game, and likely available for an affordable price. But in reality, he is not the player that the club need right now, especially if they are relying on him to be their solution to the centre-back position, which is treacherously poor at present. NDicka would be a project. The Gunners need ready-made.

William Saliba will return to the Emirates after a year-long loan at Saint-Etienne at the end of the season. At 19, he is the young talent that they are grooming to be the future of the position. He is not the finished product. He is wonderfully gifted, with terrific athleticism, composure on the ball, technical skill and good reading of the game. He does go wandering positionally and he will make mistakes at times due to his youthful nature.


Arsenal need to find substantial improvement at the centre-back position. David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi are the present starters, with Calum Chambers, Rob Hoding, Pablo Mari and Sokratis currently the reserves, in one form or another. In reality, none of these are good enough to be the starters for a top-four Premier League team.

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When it comes to addressing the centre-back position, the club must find two starters. It is hoped that Saliba will be one of these. But at 19, it is a risky proposition, and that would only be accentuated by sliding him into a centre-half pairing with a 20-year-old who has limited starting experience at the senior level.

NDicka might be a talented footballer with a bright future ahead of him, and Arsenal might regret not investing in him and his development, but given where the centre-half position is at present, they need more than just a high-potential option. They need a guaranteed, established, certain starter.

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NDicka, then, falls short. In fact, he is not nearly enough. The Gunners need more.

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