Emery took in some Spanish football at the weekend, visiting the Mestalla for Valencia’s goalless draw with high flying Getafe. One player who played in that game was Togolese centre back Djene Dakonam.
Could Djene become the solution to Arsenal’s defensive problems? Here are six things to know about the highly rated defender.
Who is Djene Dakonam?
Djene Dakonam started his career at Étoile Filante in his native country of Togo and also had spells at clubs in Benin and Cameroon before making his way to European football in 2014.
Djene made the move to Segunda División side AD Alcorcon where he grew to be a prominent figure in the team. After two years in the Spanish second tier he earned a move to Belgian top flight side Sint-Truidense. In July 2017, it was a return to Spain for the defender, this time signing for La Liga side Getafe.
Two years later and Djene has accumulated over 60 appearances for Getafe and has made quite the impression in La Liga. The Azulones finished eighth last season on their return to the Spanish top flight and currently occupy the final Champions League spot in fourth this season.
He Has Been Focal Point of Getafe's Hugely Successful 2018/19 Season
Arsenal fans should be aware that Djene's performances have helped Getafe go unbeaten in seven league matches with the third best defensive record in La Liga, conceding fewer goals than Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona this season.
Captaincy Experience for Club and Country
Djene claimed the captain's armband for the first time when Barcelona visited
He has also become the captain of his national team Togo in recent games. During his last two appearances for the Sparrowhawks, Djene captained the team to pick up four points against Gambia in their Africa Cup of Nations 2019 qualifiers.
Gained 34 Caps for the Togo National Team
Togo are currently in contention to qualify for the African Cup of Nations 2019. Djene will be part of the squad that needs to beat Benin on March 22 to make sure they qualify for this summer's competition. Former Arsenal player and Togo legend Emmanuel Adebayor has also been called up to the squad.
Djene Has a
€35m Release Clause
Djene was signed for a fee of only €2.5m from Sint-Truidense but Getafe club president Angel Torres told Cadena Cope (via Football London) that they are willing to sell him for less than the his release clause.
With Arsenal barely spending money in the past two transfer windows, the price may put off the Gunners, but with the side's new agreement with adidas, funds could become available for Djene's transfer.
He's Has Been Linked to Both Barcelona and Real Madrid
Arsenal could have to battle with the big guns in Spain if they were to be successful in signing Djene. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have shown interest in gaining the defender's signature.
As reported by Football Espana last year, Djene said: "I’m hopeful my work can take me to a bigger club." A year later, the performances Djene has produced may help him earn a major move to one of Europe's biggest team.