Arsenal have had, shall we say, a bloody torrid time with their defence in recent years.
In short, they’ve become a laughing stock.
Mustafi this, Mustafi that; Granit Xhaka can’t even control himself let alone an entire team as captain; and not even the appointment of ex-player Mikel Arteta as the new head coach has sparked much of an improvement across the back line.
So what needs to be done, then? Well, it’s pretty damn obvious. Arsenal must make some new defensive additions – and by that I don’t mean they should be signing a reject from their London rivals in a state of panic like they did last summer.
Instead, they need to turn their attention to someone that makes sense, someone that will actually act as a stop-gap to send them on their way to success in the future. And that person is:
It may come as a surprise that a player who has struggled to get much game time at a Brighton side this season should be linked with a club as prestigious as Arsenal, let alone be the man to fix such major problems within their side, but when you think about it, it genuinely makes sense.
Something the Gunners have lacked since the likes of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny left the club, is a player who is willing to put everything on the line for their team and Duffy (I’m not even exaggerating) would probably head a brick if he had to.
Sitting alongside Brighton captain Lewis Dunk in what seemed – at the time at least – an unbreakable partnership in the centre of defence, the Irishman was crucial in not only the Seagulls’ promotion to the Premier League, but also their retainment of their position in it.
Making the most clearances and headed clearances out of any player in the English top flight in 2018/19, it was clear to see that he would quite literally put his head and body on the line in order to secure points for his team. And, with Arsenal consistently dropping points due to defensive lapses in concentration – the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea just to name one recent example – it would be indispensable for them to have a player like Duffy to add further security.
Yes, he’s not the quickest. Indeed, he could definitely be better with the ball at his feet. No, he’s not a long-term fix. But, as I mentioned previously, he would definitely offer them a great deal in the short term.
As a regular Republic of Ireland international, making 32 appearances since 2014, Duffy offers a wealth of experience and his leadership is second to none. His immense aerial ability and bravery makes him a major attacking threat from set pieces and he was in fact Brighton’s second top scorer with five last season.
So…he’s a leader, a commanding aerial threat, a big football brain, and a consistent performer.
I’m not sure about you, but I’ve certainly convinced myself that Shane Duffy should be Arsenal’s next defensive addition. I think now’s the time to get the chequebooks out, lads.