Arsenal interested in Joseph Okumu

Arsenal are reportedly interested in Joseph Okumu, who has captured the attention of some top clubs after a meteoric rise at Gent.

As reported by Daily Cannon, Arsenal are very interested in KAA Gent’s Joseph Okumu. The 25-year-old Kenyan centre-back could be on the move this summer and continue his meteoric rise in the Premier League. Other clubs such as Celtic and Borussia Dortmund also have their sights set on him.

Joseph Okumu is a Kenyan international with immense scope for development. The powerful centre-back plies his trade at Belgian side Gent and is aiming to take the next step in his career by joining a top-level team as soon as possible.

Okumu could be considered a late bloomer by European standards, as the 25-year-old enjoyed his first taste of continental football by featuring in the UEFA Europa Conference League this season. He ended up making five appearances in the competition while accumulating 47 outings across all competitions.

He cost Gent a sum of £3.15 million, and there could be an opportunity for the Belgian side to make a fantastic profit on their investment. Okumu’s agent recently confirmed that as many as three big clubs are interested in the 25-year-old centre-back, including Arsenal, Celtic and Borussia Dortmund.

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Under the current circumstances, any of the prospective suitors represent a massive upgrade to Gent for Okumu. The 25-year-old’s stock has been rising in the last few years, and Arsenal, Celtic and Borussia Dortmund have duly noticed that.

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing the 25-year-old Kenyan defender, probably as a quality backup option, with the move designed to improve defensive depth. Alternatively, he could be a replacement for William Saliba, as the Frenchman’s Arsenal future remains uncertain.

Saliba continues to attract interest from top clubs across Europe after returning from a successful loan spell with Marseille. He still has two years left on his Arsenal deal, which may prompt the Gunners to take a call on his future, depending on how talks proceed between them and the player.

Arsenal remain open to offering Saliba a new deal but could sell him if he does not agree to sign fresh terms. That will prompt Arsenal to look for someone to replace for the Frenchman. Okumu may not be considered that just yet, but the 25-year-old Kenyan defender could well be a quality squad option for Mikel Arteta.

There are players like Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding ahead of the queue anyway. While Arsenal remain a top club for rising players, there could be other clubs willing to offer Okumu more playing time, which may be factored in when choosing his next destination.

Alternatively, Okumu could get plenty of game time in the first half of the season, with Arsenal set to resume Europa League duties. It will be interesting to see if Arteta chooses to sign the 25-year-old Kenyan defender, but he would be a risk considering his lack of experience at the top level. However, Okumu will be a cheap acquisition, and a move will depend on Arsenal’s willingness to experiment.

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