Arteta Trying To Push Through £42M Transfer Despite Major ‘Concerns’ About Arsenal Target’s Injury Record

Arsenal do have “concerns” about Riccardo Calafiori’s history of “serious knee problems”, according to The Athletic.

Manager Mikel Arteta is very keen to sign the Bologna defender, and the feeling is mutual, with the Italian international also hoping to complete a move to the Emirates.


However, Calafiori’s injury history and the cost of the transfer have left some at the club questioning whether it is the right decision to sign him.

The Gunners and Bologna are still locked in talks over the fee. A deal in the region of €50m (£42m) is being discussed, with the Serie A side keen to get as much as possible due to the fact they owe 50% to his former club FC Basel.

Calafiori’s injury record is poor

Since the 2018/19 season, the centre-back has picked up no less than 15 injuries, keeping him on the sidelines for 567 days. Overall, he has missed 151 games over the past six seasons.

It should be noted that Calafiori only suffered one minor knock last campaign but that is the only year where he hasn’t been out of action for less than a couple of months.

Why is Arteta so keen to sign the defender?

Calafiori’s flexibility makes him an ideal squad player. While he has been used as a centre-half by Bologna and Italy over the last year, he played mostly as a left-back before then.

The 22-year-old’s ability in possession means he could also be deployed as an inverted fullback if required. There is a feeling that he would be a major upgrade on Jakub Kiwior, who has tried to fill a similar role over the past eighteen months.

Whether it is worth risking in excess of £40m on a rather injury-prone player, though, that is up to the club to decide. The results of the medical (if the deal gets that far) could be very interesting.

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David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.