Borussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic has said he one day wants to play in the Premier League just weeks after being linked with a move to Arsenal.
ESPN claimed last month that the club were very keen on acquiring the Serbian international this summer with question marks over his BVB contract negotiations. They state that his current deal is set to end in 2016, but there are no signs of an extension being agreed to as yet.
The American broadcaster have now published quotes from an interview the 26-year-old did with German news source Kicker, and despite insisting he doesn’t want to discuss his current contract negotiations with Dortmund, he admits he would one day love to play in England.
“Those are things I don’t to talk about in public,” he is quoted as having told ESPN about dealings over his extension.
“I can still imagine playing in a league someday which rates physical football.
“The game in England is tougher, more aggressive and more physical — in a sportsmanlike sense. As a centre-back I don’t always want to fear just touching an opponent.
“How can I do my work when my opponent starts crying without contact? And those penalties after dives annoy me, I think that’s cheating. I just don’t like it when an attacker is going at what feels like one kilometre an hour and flies like he’s been hit by a car.”
It’s no coincidence Dortmund have rediscovered their defensive solidity and built some semblance of form since Subotic’s return to the starting XI following a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury.
The Serb is started again this weekend against Bayern Munich after a period of seven consecutive league starts that saw BVB pick up 17 points from 21 available. Dortmund lost a tense encounter 1-0, but restricted Bayern Munich to few chances in comparison to the majority of their opponents – a mere two shots on target.
ESPN believe he’s being targeted as a potential long-term replacement to Per Mertesacker, which could well be an astute move from the club given how laboured the German has appeared at times this season.
With the addition of Subotic, the club would finally have a full complement of defenders at their disposal – a godsend after a season where we’ve had to contend with a complete lack of cover and the likes of Monreal, Debuchy and Chambers filling in as stop-gaps in the heart of our defence.
Whether a new face at the back would solve some of our more lacklustre defensive displays remains to be seen but it certainly gives us some much needed reinforcements.