Is Arsenal the best destination for Alderweireld?

Arsenal are reportedly interested in Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld this summer.

Following the release of Sebastien Squilacci and the likelihood that Johan Djourou will leave the Emirates on a permanent basis this summer, Arsenal will be in the market for another centre-back.

They could also potentially require the services of another right-back if contract rebel Bacary Sagna ups sticks back to his native France this summer.

One possibility is Toby Alderweireld, Ajax's Belgian centre-back who has one year left on his contract and is set to decide his future imminently.

Alderweireld would be a top quality acquisition for the Gunners, but are they the best destination for him?

He is also linked with potential moves to the Gunners’ North London rivals Tottenham as well as Liverpool at present, with offers from Italy also reportedly on the table.

Liverpool will likely require defensive reinforcements this summer but Tottenham defender and Alderweireld's national side teammate Jan Vertonghen seems to be urging him to joining Spurs this summer.

Whilst Arsenal would definitely be the more appealing that the other two clubs, given their Champions League qualifying status, Alderweireld should think more long-term about his future.

Arsenal already have his compatriot Thomas Vermaelen who spent the majority of 2013 sitting on Arsene Wenger’s bench behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. All three centre-backs have been fit and the latter pairing have enjoyed supreme form in the Premier League this year.

At 24 years of age, Alderweireld needs to continue his development and to achieve that he needs to be playing regular first-team football at the highest level. He’s not going to get that at Arsenal.

The only potential reason for him to sign for Arsenal would be if Sagna moves elsewhere. Alderweireld has played at right-back before but, like Johan Djourou that is not his preferred position. Does he really want to come to a club where he’s going to be a make-shift right-back or fourth-choice centre-back?

If he intends to book his ticket to the World Cup next year in Marc Wilmot’s Belgium team, he’s going to have to be playing around 30 games this season and he’s not going to find that at the Emirates. He would be better off staying in Amsterdam.

Should Alderweireld still be considering Arsenal?

image: © mikehamm

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