William Gallas reveals the only issue with Arsenal signing Chelsea target Riccardo Calafiori

William Gallas is confident Arsenal are about to make a very shrewd signing in Ricarrdo Calafiori (Picture: Getty)

William Gallas is confident Arsenal are on the cusp of making a shrewd signing in the shape of Riccardo Calafiori.

The versatile defender was one of the few Italy players to emerge from a disappointing Euro 2024 campaign for the Azzurri with any credit.

Luciano Spalletti’s side were comprehensively beaten by Switzerland at the last 16 stage, having only made it though their group following a last-gasp equaliser against Croatia.

Calafiori missed the defeat against the Swiss through the suspension and Italy’s defence looked all at sea without the commanding presence of the 22-year-old.

After enhancing his reputation at Bologna last season, a number of high-profile European clubs, including the likes of Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen, have been monitoring the left-sided defender.

Arsenal, however, appear to be on the cusp of securing Calafiori’s services in a £40 million deal.

Where the player fits into the plans of Mikel Arteta remains to be seen and he faces a tough task to break into the starting XI given Arsenal boasted the best defensive record in the Premier League last season.

Arsenal are confident of winning the race to sign Riccardo Calafiori (Picture: Getty)

And while Gallas feels Arsenal and Calafiori represent a perfect match, he fears he may struggle initially to adapt to the demands of English football, particularly if his minutes are limited.

‘Still only 22, Riccardo Calafiori has shown a lot of quality and I think Arsenal would be a very good match for him,’ Gallas, the former Arsenal captain, told Lord Ping.

‘The only issue would be giving him time to adapt to the Premier League and give him a chance to get a run of games in the starting XI.

‘He’s still young and he still needs to improve his game, he doesn’t quite have that experience yet. At that age you need to play alongside a player like Thiago Silva but if it’s William Saliba and Gabriel, you can still learn so much from them.’

Arteta is likely to focus on strengthening his midfield and forward line once the deal for Calafiori is complete, but regardless of whether or not they make a bign-name attacking signing, Gallas is confident his old club will end next season as champions.

He added: ‘Even if Arsenal don’t get a big signing like Marcus Rashford, I think they will win the Premier League anyway.

‘I think Arsenal will be champions, but they do need a new left-back and a striker. Gabriel Jesus is not the player to score 20 goals, even if he is fit all season.

‘So that’s why I think Arsenal need a striker, they need a different profile. But after the last two seasons coming so close, they have all the ingredients to be champions.’

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