Edu plans to replicate RB Leipzig blueprint with new £55m William Saliba Arsenal partnership – Bailey Keogh

Mikel Arteta is starting to use RB Leipzig’s defensive blueprint to perfect his Arsenal backline ahead of next season as the rebuilding process continues.

According to German outlet Bild, the Gunners are currently battling with Paris Saint-Germain and north London rivals Tottenham for the signature of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka.

This deal would be surprising considering he’s a young French defender and Arsenal have this type of profile in William Saliba, who is set to return at the end of the season.

However, Arteta could be following Leipzig’s blueprint from when they had both Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahim Konate as their starting centre-backs.

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Both of the Leipzig defenders were French youth internationals, but Julien Nagelsmann had them starting alongside each other in the Bundesliga, which helped the team qualify for the Champions League on multiple occasions.

This could be Arteta’s thinking behind the potential signing of Ndicka and bringing Saliba back into the group ahead of the new campaign.

Both Saliba and Ndicka are French youth internationals, and they would play perfectly alongside each other due to Ndicka being a left-footed centre-back and Saliba being the opposite.

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Arsenal are extremely short in the centre-back positions currently, as Arteta only has three options in that position.

If Rob Holding departs at the end of the season, then it would make sense for Edu to bring in an additional centre-back alongside Saliba.

Saliba has been sent out on loan twice since Arteta took over as Gunners boss which angered sections of supporters as they believed he was ready to be a first-team regular.

The start of next season will give fans a clear idea of whether Saliba is still a part of Arsenal’s future, or if he will be deemed surplus to requirements.

In his recent loan at Marseille, he has shown the maturity required to be a regular Premier League centre-back, as he has currently played more minutes than any other player aged 20 and under in Europe’s top five leagues.

He should be a certainty in the side ahead of the next campaign, so it could leave Edu with the need to only recruit one defender whilst also strengthening elsewhere.

Ndicka, who is valued at £25.2 million, would be a shrewd signing for Arsenal. However, it will not be easy due to the interest also shown by Ligue 1 giants PSG.

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