Izzo’s career began at Napoli where he fought up the ranks but eventually failed to make it. The Italian was eventually let go to Serie D-G side US Avellino back in 2012. But that did not hold him back as he earned a move back to the Italian top flight last season from Genoa.
Since then, the centre-back registered 39 appearances for the Serie A side whilst conceding just 34 goals. Comparing that to Arsenal’s 51 goals conceded last season, it sure looks like someone who could improve them.
However, Italian football is generally defensive in nature and it would be unsurprising to any regular viewer that teams concede significantly less there. Moreover, with all due respect, apart from Juventus, Napoli and Lazio (for the most part at least), there aren’t any major challenging clubs in Italy anyway, making the defensive record seem less stellar.
Moreover, the defender has played a grand total of 11 minutes for the Italian national team in his entire career. He made a substitute appearance as a right-back during Italy’s 6-0 win during a Euro qualifier.
Additionally, Izzo is just 6ft tall making him very average in the physical stature department. Considering how vital the physical aspect is in English football, he may turn out to be yet another Shkodran Mustafi who gets bullied off the ball too easily.
Meanwhile, being 27 years old already, he barely has 2 more years worth of his prime and would only decline from there on. It no secret that he would have no resale value whatsoever.
Thus making this purchase for £22 million sounds like a classic Unai Emery signing. The move obviously “addresses” the problem but does very little to fix it. Spending half of the club’s reported transfer funds for an aging player is something only Arsenal and Emery can pull off.
If this deal does happen, the Gooners can hope the Italian international can provide at least a full season of good performances until William Saliba arrives at the Emirates after his reported loan back clause Saint-Etienne are demanding should they sell the player.
Meanwhile, Everton are also said to be interested in the Italian defender.