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Arsenal Reportedly Scout Abdou Diallo Ahead of January Transfer Window

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2017

MAINZ, GERMANY - DECEMBER 12: Abdou Diallo of Mainz gestures during the Bundesliga match between 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund at Opel Arena on December 12, 2017 in Mainz, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly scouting Abdou Diallo ahead of the January transfer window, and the centre-back is said to be high on manager Arsene Wenger's list of transfer targets. 

According to the Mirror's Liam Prenderville, the Gunners are looking at the Bundesliga as part of their search for a new defender at the behest of new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, and Diallo has caught the eye with Arsenal hoping to replace Per Mertesacker ahead of his retirement in the summer.

The 21-year-old only joined Mainz from Monaco for €5 million last summer, and he has been an impressive find for the Bundesliga side, per the club's official Twitter feed:

Mainz 05 English @Mainz05en

Abdou #Diallo features in the @kicker_bl_li team of the week for the fourth time - once more than @lewy_official 💪 #UpTheMainz https://t.co/ykjHzMKZQe

Despite his age and arrival into a team that have limped to 15th place in the league, the Frenchman has stood out as a composed and assured presence at the back.

Football commentator Kevin Hatchard is an admirer of the youngster:

Kevin Hatchard 🎙⚽️ @kevinhatchard

Mainz were very solid at the back against a physical front two. Abdou Diallo looks to be a real find at CB. Great in the air and on the ground. Forward players were poor though. #M05KOE

The Gunners will soon be without Mertesacker, 33, while Laurent Koscielny is only a year younger, and there are some question marks over Shkodran Mustafi after some high-profile mistakes, such as his error early in Arsenal's 3-1 defeat to Manchester United

As such, centre-back reinforcements are understandably a priority for the Gunners. Diallo would appear to be a strong choice given his form and potential.

According to Squawka, the Frenchman has won 23 tackles and 37 headed duels in 15 Bundesliga appearances this term, as well as making 41 interceptions and 35 clearances.

He has also scored twice in that time, as well as finding the net in the DFB-Pokal.

Scouted Football believe he would make a good signing for the Gunners:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

We were slightly confused as to why Abdou Diallo was allowed to leave Monaco, even more so given their limited options at centre-back. Diallo has been one of Mainz's best: a confident front-foot defender, pretty good in possession, underpinned by a slick turn of pace. https://t.co/AJAc0oW9PP

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

@CaIIiidus Would be a cool signing. Been (one of) the best at Mainz this season; played as a wide centre-back in a back three for a lot of it. Reads the game well, pretty sound in possession, good athlete. Arsenal need to start thinking about a Koscielny replacement...

It's difficult to imagine Mainz would be prepared to let him leave so soon after his arrival, though, even if a relatively modest fee would represent a healthy profit for them given how little they spent on him.

Diallo could be a more realistic acquisition for Arsenal to target in the summer, when they will also be in the hunt for a centre-back, according to Prenderville.

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