Advertisement

Arsenal-linked Calafiori 'all you want from a centre-back'

Bologna's Riccardo Calafiori

Arsenal-linked Riccardo Calafiori is "everything you want from a modern day centre-back", according to Bologna team-mate Lewis Ferguson.

The 22-year-old received plaudits for his performances with Italy despite their disappointing Euro 2024 finals campaign.

He was also a key player as Bologna finished third in Serie A to qualify for the Champions League - their first appearance in the main European club competition since the 1964-64 season.

"Not only did he have a really good tournament, but last season he was outstanding - one of our best players," Ferguson, who missed out on the finals with Scotland through injury, told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"We had a great season as a team and he was big part of that."

Bologna have lost head coach Thiago Motta to Juventus, with Vincenzo Italiano arriving in his place from Fiorentina.

Ferguson thinks Bologna could also have sold some key players by the time he returns to action by the end of the year and is "not surprised" that Arsenal are interested in Calafiori.

"Originally, he was a left-back," he explained. "The manager had changed him into a centre-back, but he is a real modern centre-back, the way he drives with the ball, he's really comfortable with the ball.

"The way we played last season, half the time, the centre-backs were in midfield. That's the way the manager wanted them to play and it suited him down to a T.

"He was perfect for that role. So comfortable on the ball, but again, he was aggressive, good in the air, strong in the tackle. Everything you want from the modern-day centre-back."