LASESARRE, SPAIN - AUGUST 5: Puma Orbita, the official match ball of LaLiga in detail prior the pre-season friendly match between Athletic Club and Real Sociedad on August 5, 2022 at Lasesarre Stadium in Barakaldo, Spain. Noxthirdxpartyxsales PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxJPN 195228971

ARSENAL have abandoned their pursuit of Jerome Boateng as they feel the Bayern Munich centre-back is too dependable, despite the 31-year-old being available for a cut-price fee.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta called off a move for the World Cup-winning defender after concluding fans would become bored by Boateng’s competence and would soon long for the thrills and spills they’ve become accustomed to. 

Speaking about the decision, Arteta said: “Here at Arsenal, we have a tradition of slapstick comedy defending to uphold, and signing adept centre-backs would fly in the face of this.”

The Arsenal manager pointed to last summer’s arrival of David Luiz as proof of the club’s dedication to this strategy, praising the Brazilian defender for his part in the team’s consistently shaky, yet undeniably entertaining defending in 2019/20.

He told reporters: “We believe David has embraced the club’s ethos of providing amusement over results, as can be exemplified by his attempt to kick off N’golo Kante’s head against Chelsea. He has been a key part in us conceding almost as many goals as Watford, West Ham, and Bournemouth this season, and long may this form continue.”

The North London club was once known for its bruising, no-nonsense centre-backs, from Sol Campbell and Martin Keown to Tony Adams and Steve Bould. However, Arsene Wenger’s later years saw a major shift in the type of defenders Arsenal bought.

The club has increasingly focused on bringing in defenders who can offer the most comedic value, with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Gabriel, and Sebastien Squillaci epitomising this approach.