You wonder exactly who and who are on Wenger’s shopping list for January and how available they are, and if their clubs would be willing to let them leave mid way into the season.
Well, add Fabio Coentrao to that list as reports according to the Express have it that the Portuguese International will be the subject of an inquiry from us. The 26-year old left-back remains second to Marcelo on the left-back spot at the Bernabeu and is believed to be frustrated at this development. He had arrived on the back of a really impressive World Cup in 2010 and was tipped to seize the spotlight at the time.
Wenger had been linked with Coentrao back in that summer of 2010 and seeing it has not quite materialized for him at the Bernabeu, another opportunity beckons for us to bring him over to London.
Coentrao had been one of Jose Mourinho’s allies in the La Liga winning season of 2012 but his form has been rocked by injuries since. A thigh injury had threatened to rule him out of selection for Paulo Bento’s Portuguese entourage to the World Cup in Brasil, but he has managed to fight himself back into contention though featuring just once in the drubbing against Germany, going off injured in the 65th minute. He has featured peripherally in Ancelotti’s plans this season, managing a bare 4 League appearances.
Arsenal’s defensive troubles are well documented and every kind of improvement in personnel is deemed welcome. We can boast of two left-backs in Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal but doubts over their injury records will make it seem reasonable to keep an eye open for another option. Monreal has had his default configuration toiled and tinkered with this season, filling in at center-half in the absence of Koscielny. Gibbs has been one of our best performers in general, his forward play typical of the modern full back and as good as even that of Coentrao himself.
However, Coentrao has got some more experience at both International and top European competitions which could be of great benefit to us. The unlucky episode with injuries that kept him away from being very much involved in the World cup has been overcome, and has reclaimed his place in the Portuguese team. A Champions League winner with Madrid last season, Coentrao won’t actually come cheap as Madrid will reportedly hold out for a fee within the £25m range.
He will turn 27 in March and that means he would still have a lot to give any team. A couple of our rivals in the Premier League have also been keen on him, and it may be a battle we could consider summing up some ammunition to win.
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