Short-term Solution to Arsenal’s Defensive Woes

GUIMARAES, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 20: Kepler Lima 'Pepe' of Portugal looks on during the UEFA Nations League A group three match between Portugal and Poland at Estadio Don Afonso Henriques on November 20, 2018 in Guimaraes, Portugal. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

While Arsenal have also been linked with another Pepe recently, it is the 35-year old former Real Madrid defender who might be of the most use to the Gunners right now.

Short-term Solution to Arsenal’s Defensive Woes

Free Agent

The Portuguese has just agreed to a cancellation of his contract at Turkish giants Besiktas with the club undergoing some financial strains. He was one of the highest earning players at the Istanbul-based club but due to the deteriorating situation of the Turkish currency, the Besiktas hand was forced and the star accepted the annulment of his contract. Pepe has played at the level for more than a decade now, winning three Champions League titles in his ten years in Madrid.

A possible acquisition of Pepe could continue a potential recruiting pattern for Unai Emery, who hasn’t shown any reluctance in bringing in players on the wrong side of 30. The new Arsenal boss’ signings of 34-year old Swiss international Stephan Lichtsteiner and 30-year old Greek Sokratis Papastathopoulos have proven to be a shrewd signing with the veteran defenders adding extra bite and steel to the Gunners’ defence.

Proven Quality

In a defence at times comprising of the error-prone Shkodran Mustafi and the injury-ravaged Laurent Koscielny, the arrival of Pepe would add a proven fighter who any club would want on their side rather than against. Pepe has seen it all and done it all on the world stage and would improve the quality of any team in the Premier League.

The Portuguese defender may be 35 but for 18 months, or even six depending on the wishes of the Arsenal manager, could offer a more than capable short-term solution to Arsenal’s injury-hit defence. He appeared in 17 games in all competitions for Besitkas this season, scoring five goals and assisting two. Pepe’s infamous disciplinary issues should not be a concern as well with the defender being on the receiving end of only one red card in the last six and a half seasons.

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