Forget John Stones, Arsenal should target Kalidou Koulibaly this summer

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Arsenal have been linked with Everton’s John Stones.

According to a recent report in the Mirror, Arsenal are intent on re-shaping their squad this summer and one of the players identified to come in is Everton’s highly-rated defender John Stones.

The England international rose to prominence last season, putting in a number of impressive displays and attracting heavy interest from Premier League rivals Chelsea last summer.

The Blues failed in their attempts to get him, and Everton’s latest takeover suggests that prying him away from Goodison Park this summer will be even more difficult.

Arsenal, if they are serious, may have to break their club transfer record to get him - which could in turn leave them unwilling to spend big on different areas of the team.

A new first-team centre-back to partner Laurent Koscielny is a must this summer, especially considering Per Mertesacker’s age, Gabriel Paulista’s weaknesses and Calum Chambers’ inexperience.

Bringing in Stones may not be in the club’s best interest, and one viable alternative the Gunners should most certainly consider this summer is Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Senegal international has been a key figure for the Serie A title challengers this season, starting 25 league matches and averaging 2.5 tackles, 2.5 interceptions and 3.7 effective clearances per match.

Stones may provide assurance on the ball and solid distribution from the back, yet Arsenal do not need that, as instead they are crying out for a dominant defender who loves the physical battle.

A Martin Keown, Tony Adams or Sol Campbell type...Koulibably is 6ft 2inch, strong on and off the ball and more importantly is a leader, a player Arsenal must acquire.

A recent report by GianlucadiMarzio claims Manchester United and Bayern Munich are among his suitors, while Napoli themselves are desperate to tie him down to a new contract.

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