Arsenal’s delve into the winter transfer window in search for defenders seems to be taking a new turn now as all signs seems to be pointing to Germany for solutions for Arsenal.
Schalke’s World Cup winning defender, Benedikt Howedes, has emerged as the latest defensive target for Arsene Wenger, as the Gunners will attempt to move ahead of rivals Manchester United for his signature, according to the Express.
The 26-year old center back gained much praise for his role in Joachim Loew’s team in Brazil, helping to fill in at left back for the entire duration of the tournament in what were always comfortable and assured performances. Manchester United are believed to have him as one of the marked down targets to strengthen their defence but it is the Gunners whose bid is now expected, a £15m fee sufficient to cart away the goodie.
Club officials were believed to be in the stands to see Howedes and his teammates sweep Stuttgart away last week, and will move to bring him to the Emirates, despite still having two years remaining on his contract at the Veltins Arena.
A former teammate of Mesut Ozil at both Under-21s and the senior National Team, Howedes is also a close acquaintance of Arsenal vice captain, Per Mertesacker, possessing the same qualities that has seen the big German established as a favourite amongst the Emirates faithful. His perceived willingness to move to the Premier League would give push to a possibility of a deal being brokered, though it may not be clear where he may most desire.
Arsene, on his part, certainly desires to add a defender to his ranks this term and the January window will present that chance. Having gambled on beginning the season with just 6 senior defenders, it remains somewhat a mystery how his team has not totally collapsed with the rate of injuries and suspensions that have swept through. The deployment of natural full backs, Nacho Monreal and Mattiue Debuchy, into center half roles have not been altogether implosive but it is not an ideal that could last for much long, especially against the very top teams.
Wenger’s team boasts the over 50% of the German workforce in the Premier League, even if two are currently injured, while one has seemingly not impressed enough to get a good run of games. The boss has been recently linked with a host of clubs from the World Cup winning nation, even as Sami Khedira, Marco Reus, Lars Bender, Christopher Kramer, and 21-year old defender Antonio Rudiger, have all been on the Gunners radar.
Howedes is a central figure in the Gelsenkirchen club, and has been captain for four seasons now since Manuel Neuer left for Bayern in 2011. He has witnessed very many good times there, including two BundesLiga Runner-up finishes, the most recent being in 2010. He will provide more leadership to the team, and will still serve for a considerable length of time, his career only just kicking into top gear.
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