Wenger has confirmed that he will sign a player in the January transfer window and with the defense the obvious department in need of an uplift, Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar has re-emerged as a top target for Le Prof, with the Express reporting that even an £8 million bid has been tabled to bring him to the Emirates.
The 29-year old Dutchman has been heavy linked with a move away from Villa Park by January after his outstanding World Cup outing with van Gaal’s Netherlands. Vlaar is one of the most highly rated defenders in the Premier League, playing a key role in Villa’s sustained stay in the topflight over the past few seasons despite forecasts to the contrary.
With injuries and departures causing huge gaps in both Arsenal and United’s defence this season, it is expected that both will be going into the winter window with the acquisition of a true defensive leader as a top priority. Vlaar’s premier League experience makes him a hot prospect as he is seen as having no need of adaptation which would be expected for players from foreign lands.
Both clubs will have to convince Vlaar against signing the new deal being proposed by the Villa board. While Arsenal can promise him top European football this season, Louis van Gaal would be looking to take advantage of the fact that a reunion will work out perfectly for both parties.
Manchester United have had their fair share of injuries this season, with Luke Shaw’s injury in our last meeting recorded as the 40th this season. While we welcome back Laurent Koscielny, Marcos Rojo also makes a return for van Gaal but with the likes of Johnny Evans yet to return, United will still be looking into the market to strengthen their defense.
Wenger must know better from his own experience to know that he may not take for granted how much of a good addition the Dutchman could be. There won’t be many top class options available in January who will command less than the £20 million expected to be available to Wenger in January. There’s been talk of an £8 million bid being prepared for Celtic defender, Virgil van Dijk, but at 23, he is maybe still raw and unproven at the top level.
Ron Vlaar fits the profile of the kind of defender Arsenal needs at the moment. He has the experience of the Premier League and the World Cup performances where he kept the likes of Lionel Messi at bay gives him the pedigree of a big game player.
Besides Calum Chambers, we only have two recognised center halves in Koscielny and Mertesacker. There is the certain requirement of bringing out the best in player by keeping someone ready on the bench to take their place at any slip. It is no secret that both of our defenders were spurred to always improve over the past seasons because ex-captain Thomas Vermaelen was always ready waiting to pounce. Now that there is no one to provide such competition, we must be concerned about the quality of their inputs.
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