Would Mohamed Simakan help Arsenal?
Here’s what to know about the linked defender
Arsenal are sure to add at least one defender this summer, and credible links have popped up saying RB Leipzig’s Mohamed Simakan is under serious consideration.
Despite being only 23, the 6’2” Simakan is a rare blend of youthful and experienced. He’s made 75 starts to date in Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga, with 9 starts in the Champions League for Die Roten Bullen over the past two years.
Simakan joined the German club from Strasbourg, where he came through the academy ranks and eventually started 36 games for a lower-mid-table Ligue 1 side. He spent time at both right back and center-back at Strasbourg in the ‘19-20 campaign, with his club going back and forth between three- and four-man back lines. He then featured more as the right CB in a four-man back line the following season, before joining Leipzig as a £13m replacement for the departing Dayot Upamecano.
Simakan’s first season in Germany saw him start 35 games in all competitions, with manager Domenico Tedesco opting most often to use him as the RCB in a five-man back line.
Simakan remains a regular starter under current Leipzig manager Marco Rose, but his position has changed. This season, the Frenchman has most often been called upon as a right back, whether in a three- or four-man backline. When Leipzig do deploy a 3-4-3, Simakan splits time between right wing back or right center back, depending on which of his teammates are selected.
But would Simakan help Arsenal? I spent some time watching his performances this season and studying his numbers, and here’s what I’d say.
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