So in his first season as an Arsenal player, Mattieu Debuchy will probably miss six months due to two freak falls? What hard luck for a man who has looked like a perfect piece of business as far as replacing a departing player goes! The 29-year old has shown seamless adaptation to life at the Emirates since moving from Newcastle but dislocating his shoulder against Stoke will be a huge blow to all the plans Wenger has had about establishing stability at the back.
It points down to the fact that Wenger MUST be involved in trying to recruit at least one defender this window and given that this need had been glaring even before the Frenchman’s latest gravitational accident, we may be looking at a necessary double barrel acquisition. That said, a right back replacement won’t be needed as there are two hungry youngsters in Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin eager to prove themselves and Wenger will surely hand them the chance.
So, who are the center-halves the veteran Frenchman should be setting his sights on? We sample the top 3.
Virgil van Dijk
Celtic’s 23-year old Dutch International has been given the profile of a dream central defender by many a pundit and he would not have escaped the attention of the forces at the Emirates. The idea of moving to England is not something he has shown an aversion to though he would rather see out the rest of the season at Glasgow. There is some dutch interest in him from Old Trafford but maybe the Gunners have more need of him if a comparison of numbers is made between center-half options available to both teams. He’s had nothing but good words to describe Arsenal and it would be nothing short of amazing if Wenger though it wise to stash the rumoured £8m for his services this January. But he is seen as a big figure by Celtic manager Ronny Deila, and they could be holding out for more if Arsenal show desperation.
The run-away New Zealander doesn’t want to sign a new deal at Upton Park and clearly wants out, especially if the interested club will pay all of his £60,000 every week in wages. Arsenal already have a bulging wage bill which needs management but there are more streams of income coming in to suggest a four-year deal for a 26-year old with over a century of Premier League experiences won’t bring the club under UEFA’s FFP hammer. Sam Allardyce probably still has ambitions of finishing in the top four and it’s not something that looks likely if they lose Reid now. Yet, West Ham’s owners won’t let him go for nothing on the first of July, Arsenal’s biggest chance of defensive reinforcement is on this man. He’s already played a part in one of Arsenal’s victories this season, hasn’t he?
Place a £25m bid for 2014’s best defender and see how Fiorentino Perez responds to it. Sheer ambition
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