Arsenal fans blown away by Merih Demiral's 'superb' Juventus display

A general view of Arsenal fans during the Carabao Cup Final between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on February 25, 2018 in London, England.

Reported £34m Arsenal target shone for the Serie A giants in the Champions League, throwing his body on the line to beat Bayer Leverkusen.

Merih Demiral of Turin during the UEFA Champions League group D match between Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus at BayArena on December 11, 2019 in Leverkusen, Germany.

Merih Demiral is certainly more Giorgio Chiellini than Leonardo Bonucci.

Raking diagonals and swerving 30-yard screamers are hardly the Turkish international’s bag but, if you want a defender willing to crunch into perfectly timed tackles and throw his body on the line in search of a clean sheet, he’s your man.

And it just so happens that this is exactly what Arsenal are looking for.

Just five months after joining Juventus from Sassuolo, Demiral could be on the move again with the Gunners eyeing up a £34 million deal for an old-school centre-back who, unlike so many of the ball-playing wannabees that have passed through the Emirates in recent years, genuinely loves defending (Calciomercato).

Yes, we're looking at you David Luiz.

Merih Demiral of Turkey during the  EURO Qualifier match between France  v Turkey  at the Stade de France on October 14, 2019 in Paris France

During a rare appearance against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Wednesday night, Demiral produced the kind of commanding performance which has Arsenal fans everywhere drooling.

The shaven-headed 21-year-old produced five clearances and two brilliant blocks as Juve left it late to seal a 2-0 win in Germany. Why he hasn't played more regularly in Turin, particularly with Matthijs de Ligt enduring a tough start to life at Juventus, remains a mystery.

And Arsenal will be praying that Maurizio Sarri’s side won’t have second thoughts now about selling a man who looks every inch the kind of solid centre-back they have missed since Thomas Vermaelen’s heyday.

Juventus' Turkish defender Merih Demiral (L) and Leverkusen's French forward Moussa Diaby vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match between Bayer Leverkusen...


Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch