Arsene Wenger will look to Manchester United again for a solution to his injury headaches for the 2nd time in as many months.
Chris Smalling had been the subject of an add-on to any proposed deal between the bitter rivals for Thomas Vermaelen. As much as Louis van Gaal wanted the Belgian, United were not willing to include Smalling in the deal. However, with the English International not appearing to be in the plans of the United boss this term, with the signings of Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw, with Johnny Evans and Tyler Blackett currently first choice center halves, the exit door is somewhat ajar for Smalling now.
Arsenal’s defensive worries mean the 24 year old becomes a very viable option for the Gunners.
The injury to Mat Debuchy has implied that the Gunners now are short in the center half department, Laurent Koscielny and, vice captain, Per Mertesacker being the ONLY senior defenders available, Calum Chambers drifting to the right full back position (where he performed very impressively at Villa Park).
Chris Smalling has actually played mostly at right back, both for United and England, but it is believed that his long term future will be in the heart of the defence.
Wenger is a known admirer of the ex-Fulham player, as his versatility is that unique feature which he always looks out for in potential targets. He is young, English, and experienced in both International and top European football. He will come into the squad with a Premier League medal, too.
If the reports in the papers are to be believed, a January move for the defender could happen, especially if Smalling’s status at Old Trafford doesn’t improve. He is one of the players identified as England’s future and, much like Danny Welbeck, he may need to make a move which will give him the platform to establish himself in position he prefers. Mertesacker will turn 30 soon and isn’t getting any quicker. You figure he could do with some competition, and a long-term understudy. Having Chambers, Gibbs and Smalling in our defence is a solid prospect for future world-beating. Remember when Wenger said he will build England a good National team?
Smaliing himself should be open to the move, considering the progressive position in which the Gunners are now and are likely to keep being in the future. Champions League football is still a favourite of every footballer. He was not in the United team of 2008, and despite our struggles at Dortmund, it is still a competition we must fancy ourselves as contenders. He is surely not among the favorites at Old Trafford as even in the absence of injured Phil Jones, he still isn’t being fancied. Being already out of the League Cup, there are just two competitions in which United are fighting for trophies, meaning a large squad will necessarily not be needed. Coupled with an apparent change in the club’s policy of bringing through British talent in favour of over-the-top imports from abroad, Smalling should follow Cleverley, Tom Lawrence and Danny Welbeck in saving their careers.
Where else to do that than at Arsenal?
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