Arsenal’s search for a defensive cover has been well documented and with the continuous injury crisis befalling the North London outfit, all hand are on deck for recruitment when the winter transfer window opens in January.
According to Daily Star, Arsene Wenger will move a step closer towards ameliorating Arsenal’s defensive deficit by asking for acceleration in the move for Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk.
The 23-year old Dutchman has been on an even better from this season, compared to before the summer when we had made initial contact for him, giving more push for the demand for him. The many injuries to our defenders – especially Laurent Koscielny and emergency center half Nacho Monreal – has made it inescapable for Wenger to delve into the transfer market for a worthy replacement. Van Dijk, who is also pursued by United, has both the frame and ability to perform at the top level and has been marked down as the prime target in January.
Arsenal cannot afford not to sign a defender within the next 6 weeks as the success of our campaign would depend on the solidity of our back four. Whereas Koscielny and Mertesacker formed a solid partnership last season to keep us steady, recurring concerns in the frenchman’s Achilles is bringing his career on the vestiges of the situation surrounding the eventual wane in the form of ex-captain Thomas Vermaelen and rather than wait till he will be fit enough to reclaim his place, it is necessary that a strong capable competitor be brought in.
Though they did not make it into the Group stage of the Champions League this season, van Dijk’s performances for Ronny Deila’s men has given them more reasons to want to hold on to him. It could take a substantial bid to wrestle him from their grasp midseason as they will want to have their armoury full for the adventure of the Europa League.
At 6ft 4, Van Dijk would only be rivaled by Olivier Giroud and Per Mertesacker in height, giving us the much needed physical presence we seem to lack in defence. Though yet to win to make his debut with the Oranje, the 23-year old product of Groningen still has a lot of football in him to establish him as one of the strongest defenders of his generation. Unlike his fellow Dutchman, Ron Vlaar, who’s continued to be linked with us, Van Dijk still has the potential to improve important aspects of his game, while being more likely to play to instruction and in collaboration to his older teammates.
With the Netherlands, Van Dijk has the potential to excel in International football over the coming years, rivaling the likes of Stefan De Vrij and Bruno Martins Indi in the Dutch team, and considering it hasn’t exactly worked against us having dutch talents, van Dijk could prove as crucial as the non-flying one that served us well for 11 years.
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