Arsenal are preparing a move for Schalke right-back Atsuto Uchida in the summer as replacement for Bacary Sagna, according to reports in the Mirror.
The 26 year old featured on 17 occasions for the Bundesliga side last term, providing three assists along the way and has caught the eye of clubs across Europe.
The report states that Arsenal boss Wenger has ordered his scouts to keep tabs on the Japanese international right-back. The Gunners have to step up their attempts to sign a right-back as Bacary Sagna is set to join Manchester City on a £120,000-a-week contract as soon as he becomes a free agent.
It further states that the North London club have also watched Toulouse right-back Serge Aurier, but there are understood to be some reservations. Wenger does like Aurier and believes he has major potential, and the Gunners could still settle for him despite the weaknesses which have been flagged up. Athletico defender Juanfran is also on the radar but having just won the La Liga title with the Madrid club, it could well prove difficult to prise him away from Diego Simeone’s side.
The Japanese defender has enjoyed a fantastic four years at Gelsenkirchen, in which he has built a phenomenal rapport with his team-mates. He is a versatile defender who can play both as a centre back or on the right. He is rapidly fast and is at his best when he is zipping down the wing, whipping crosses into the box.
He isn’t as physically imposing as Sagna, but he offers far more going forward and has also averaged more successful tackles per game than the Frenchman. However, he has entirety missed the second half of the season with injury and his fitness alone would prove to be a huge gamble for the Gunners.
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There is no doubt that he has come on leaps and bounds in the European game and would represent a fine signing for the Gunners, but if Arsenal are to mount a credible title challenge next season, we need a better player than Uchida. With Aurier available and keen on a move to the Emirates, his signing would represent a far more secure and safer purchase.
Who should we sign? Share your thoughts in the comments below.