Back in May, the
Football London had reported that Arsenal were interested in signing Getafe
defender Djene Dakonam to strengthen their backline. However, a move didn’t
materialise and the Gunners, instead, went on to sign David Luiz from Chelsea.
David Luiz, 32, is a highly-experienced Premier League defender but he has his set of strengths and weaknesses.
He may be one of the best ball-playing centre-halves in the league but when it comes to shoring up a team’s backline, the Brazilian isn’t the most promising of defenders. And the Arsenal fans have already witnessed Luiz’ struggles in the last two games against Liverpool and Tottenham.
Laurent Koscielny left Arsenal in the summer and maybe Unai Emery brought in Luiz as a like-for-like replacement. But Emery made a big mistake by not signing Getafe’s Djene Dakonam, who could have truly reinforced the Gunners’ backline.
Getafe had the second-best defensive record in the La Liga
last season, just behind Atletico Madrid, who conceded only 29 goals. And one
of the reasons for Getafe’s rock-solid defence was Djene Dakonam.
Dakonam, 27, has been a regular fixture at Getafe since joining the club from Belgian outfit Sint-Truidense in the summer of 2017. He helped Getafe to a fifth-place finish, as the Spanish club subsequently bagged Europa League qualification.
An intelligent defender with good positional awareness and strong tackling skills, the Togolese would have offered Emery a versatile option as he’s played at right-back and in the holding midfield role in the past. He is a decent passer of the ball, quick, composed and an assuring presence at the back.
Dakonam is neither strong in the air nor a commanding presence in the box, but he compensates with his innate game-reading ability and interception skills.
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The 27-year-old’s presence would have brought a lot of stability and calmness to the Arsenal defence that looked all over the place in the first half of the north London derby on Sunday.
Dakonam wouldn’t have cost a lot as well and a move to Arsenal could have helped him take his game to the next level under Emery and solve his team’s defensive problems.
All in all, we can conclude by saying that Arsenal made a
big mistake by not signing Dakonam from Getafe. He could have been an ideal
defender for Emery’s system at the Emirates.