Anyone looking at footage of Arsenal’s latest defensive target, Pape Abou Cisse, currently with Olympiakos, will notice that he looks like Paul Pogba without the attitude.
The next thing you would notice in Cisse is his intimidating presence and physicality at 6 feet, 6 inches. Short of wearing a price tag you won’t have noticed the enticing fee of just around £10m, which would be a snip.
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Arsenal said to be interested in 6ft 6in central defender, Pape Abou Cisse. The 23 year old Olympiakos defender’s price is reportedly in the region of £10M.
[@90min_Football] (🥉) pic.twitter.com/oajMPq6DXm
— afcSource™ (@afcSource) July 17, 2019
It’s said that the hot prospect, William Saliba of Saint Etienne is on his way, now all parties have agreed terms. When I say on his way, he is and he isn’t, in a complicated and baffling deal, he will rejoin his old club for a final season. This makes the search for another central defender, who can play from the start of the season more crucial and Cisse could be a perfect player for that.
Cisse is agile, alert and puts in a shift at both ends of the pitch ,but he can also sense danger and puts in the odd ferocious tackle which makes you literally close one eye. Cisse is a Patrick Vieira on stilts, a Sol Campbell minus the muscles and a stretched Kolo Toure. It’s a combination that gives you a bit of everything and best of all, he’s not Shkodran Mustafi.
If this latest rumour is true, then it’s a step in the right direction because Arsenal have been bullied at the back for years and are in desperate need of a formidable presence. Yes, Olympiakos are hardly Real Madrid, but Cisse has performed consistently for them and with the right coaching could prove to be a hidden gem for the price of Neymar’s left foot.
Of course there will be more names in contention other than Cisse as Arsenal turn their attentions to their defence, an area of constant concern but Cisse presents a decent available option.
However, it’s likely that with Saliba on the brink of completion , Cisse will want assurances that he isn’t merely a stop gap and that he has a long term future at Arsenal and that’s where the deal could fall flat.
Arsenal are monitoring Olympiakos’ Pape Abou Cisse as another way of strengthening their defence, while they may keep Calum Chambers at the club due to being defensively short in numbers. [@johncrossmirror] #afc pic.twitter.com/eoWcKzZWKg
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) July 17, 2019
It’s unclear at present what the Spaniards overall defensive vision is. Arsenal’s defence is an unholy mess and has been for a while.
A collection of styles and personalities that clash, consisting of individuals that have no idea of how to form a partnership.
It’s instability through injuries and changing personnel have undermined successive seasons in the premiership and although Wenger turned a blind eye, citing a number of other factors, it has always been obvious to the fans and media alike.
Let’s hope that Emery’s defensive brain can assemble a backline that can defend collectively. Wenger’s forte wasn’t defence and so it proved after the invincible’s season of 2004 , when he could no longer find a combination that helped Arsenal stay in contention.
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It’s shaping up to be an interesting transfer window and two of the attacking Brazilian targets represent value and excitement but its never been the attack that has been the problem. Emery needed width for his frontmen and he now has that in abundance with Soares, who is said to be close to signing, Martinelli who is performing well on the US tour and Nelson and Sako who are bubbling away in the mix.
It’s that backline that makes Arsenal fans entirely pessimistic and anxious against any opposition with an ounce of pace or ambition and signing Cisse would definitely provide some help at the back. Even the addition of Torreira could halt the avalanche of goals during the season, with Xhaka continuing to resemble the passer by outside the church looking at the married couple.
According to Greek news outlet SDNA, Arsenal are heavily interested in 6 ft 6, 23 year old Senegalese centre back, Pape Abou Cissé who plays for Olympiakos.
— WorldwideArsenal™ (@WorldwideAFC) July 17, 2019
I’m convinced that Edu and Emery are looking at all the available options but I suspect they will either promote from within or add just one central defender to cover all eventualities. Is that Cisse ? Well at least the price would appear to be right but is he another left shoe for a right foot ?