According to reports in Brazil, Arsenal are monitoring the growth of Corinthians’ centre-back Robert Renan. The 19-year-old has broken into the Brazilian side’ first-team this season. The Gunners are eyeing a move for the youngster as their next defensive signing if reports are to be believed.
Robert Renan rose through the ranks of the Corinthians academy in Brazil. He has also appeared for the Brazil U-18 and U-20 contingents. This season, he has largely been a backup to Gil and Raul Gustavo in central defence. However, his performances in his 9 starts have been enough to attract the attention of several top clubs.
The North London side have grown an affinity for Brazilian players and technical director Edu is one of the primary reasons for that. Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli, alongside the recent arrival of Gabriel Jesus, are part of the Brazilian contingent at the Emirates.
According to GOAL Brasil (via The Hard Tackle), Arsenal have expressed interest in signing Robert Renan. The Gunners are keeping a close eye on the young centre-back’s progress at the South American club and could be plotting a move next summer.
However, the North London side could face competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea, who are also said to be interested in the youngster. In the summer, Wolves held discussions with the player’s representatives over a possible move but had a bid of around £9 million rejected for the 19-year-old.
Robert Renan reportedly has a hefty release clause, but a bid in the region of £45 million could be enough to secure his transfer. Chelsea could also match the asking fee, but Arsenal’s current crop of thriving Brazilian internationals and Edu’s leverage of contacts in the country provide the Gunners with an edge.
Robert Renan: Player Profile
Renan is a left-footed centre-back, who has been used in a three-man and four-man backline. Despite towering at 186cm, the defender has won just 31.3% of his aerial duels. However, the youngster is strong on the ground, winning almost 2 duels a game, and affecting 1.83 interceptions and 1.50 tackles every 90 minutes. [Stats Via: Sofascore]
The 19-year-old is also a safe candidate on the ball. While he does not like to carry the ball out from the back, the Brazilian defender is a good passer of the ball, and can ably facilitate the team’s build-up from the back.
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Fit Under Arteta
This season, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has mostly used one right-footed and one left-footed centre-back. Gabriel has been the preferred option on the left, while William Saliba has made the right position his own. Arteta also has the options of Ben White, Rob Holding and Takehiro Tomiyasu who can all cover the RCB role. If Robert Renan is signed, he will act mainly as a backup to Gabriel on the left.
The Gunners have also been linked with a move for Evan N’dicka, while Auston Trusty is excelling at his loan spell with Bristol City. Therefore, it remains doubtful whether Edu would be willing to spend lavishly on another centre-back, as there are a few other positions that need strengthening.
Should Arsenal sign Robert Renan? Or should the Gunners target a cheaper or more proven option? Let us know in the comments.
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