Arsenal have solicited the help of two former players in the pursuit of a new central defender, as Mikel Arteta sets his sights on a move for Club Brugge’s Odilon Kossounou.
Starting his career with ASEC Mimosas in his home nation, the Ivory Coast, Odilon Kossounou made the move to Europe in 2019 when Swedish side Hammarby brought him in on a long-term deal at the age of 18.
Spending just six months in Sweden before Club Brugge came calling, the central defender has gone on to feature in the Champions League in a remarkable rise to football stardom. The Belgian side finished third in their group and dropped into the Europa League, where they hold the advantage over Dynamo Kiev from their round of 32 first leg clash.
In the Belgian Pro League Brugge are racing away with the league title, conceding just 18 goals in 26 outings, a defence which has had Kossounou in the heart of it for the vast majority of the campaign. His performances have not gone unnoticed.
Arsenal line-up £8.5m move for Club Brugge defender Odilon Kossounou in summer transfer window
As per the Mirror, he has become one of Arteta’s top targets this summer and the deal is thought to cost in the region of £8.5m with performance-related add-ons. The outlet list him as the midfielder to come in and solve numerous issues in north London while he is, most definitely, a central defender. Unless there is a positional change bubbling away, that is.
Interestingly, Arsenal are said to have spoken to both Emmanuel Eboue and Gervinho for their opinion on him, with the pair returning with glowing praise of their fellow countryman.
Inter Milan are also interested despite their financial constraints, with Wolves also eager to make their move, as revealed by The Sun. Prior to signing Ozan Kabak, Liverpool were sniffing around, too.
With suitors aplenty, it appears destined that Kossounou is due for another swift rise further up the football pyramid to one of the top five divisions in the summer. In terms of age, style – he’s an exceptional ball-playing centre-back with outstanding tackling ability – and price, it’s a good fit.
Moving for him could hint at David Luiz’s future at the club, as well as likely departee Calum Chambers, while it also asks questions of William Saliba’s likelihood of challenging for a starting spot next term.