Arsenal’s transfer targets this summer will be determined on the North-London clubs final league position this season.
Failure to finish in the top four and a season without the Champions League will mean a possible change in the level of player that they could realistically target. One player that should be on Arsene Wenger’s radar is Zambian defender, Stoppila Sunzu. The FC Sochaux defender only joined the French club in January and he has made a vast improvement to the back-line as they fight for their life in Ligue 1.
The 24-year-old joined from Zambian side TP Mazembe during the January transfer window, teaming up once again with former national team coach, Herve Renard, and he has brought a more physical, athletic and commanding presence to the defence of les Lionceaux since his arrival.
Sochaux’s defensive record has improved since he signed, and he has even added to the attacking side. His presence from set-pieces has been one of his biggest assets. Able to defend against the bigger, stronger attackers but he has also scored four goals for his new club.
For Arsenal the combination of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker has been superb at times, but it’s when the first-choice duo isn’t available that the Gunners have struggled. Thomas Vermaelen’s decline has been sudden and surprising, and Wenger will be looking for a new defender to come in and provide cover and challenge the preferred duo for a place in the side.
Despite their improved performances, Sochaux are very likely to be relegated to Ligue 2 this season. They are five points from safety with five games to go and only a miracle will keep them up. Once they drop, there will be players available to buy for a cut price deal. Sunzu will be one of the most coveted players in the squad.
It shouldn’t cost a huge amount to bring him to England. Offers under €5 million would be considered and for that price Arsenal would be getting an international defender with over 40 caps, a centre-back with size, strength, agility and great positioning skills and they would be adding desire, work rate and a never give-up attitude to a side that sometimes lacks in those areas.
Bigger names will be linked with Arsenal all summer, but in Sunzu they would gain a genuinely impressive defender that would bring a lot of much needed ability to the Arsenal defence.