Arsenal will, according to the usually reliable John Cross of Mirror Sport, do the necessary to bring 26-year old Winston Reid to the Emirates in January.
Arsene Wenger’s last Premier League trip of the year was as much about grabbing the necessary win that puts us ahead of the Hammers on the log, as it was about getting an up-close on January defensive target, Winston Reid, and it appears enough was seen to be convinced of a move for him.
Reid has yet to budge towards a new deal at Upton Park as both parties remain deadlocked on the terms of a new deal. The New Zealand International is believed to be holding out for a £60,000-a-week package but the Hammers have not deemed it expedient to offer that as yet, leaving the doors open for him to possibly leave on a free transfer next summer. Arsenal scouts have watched him in every single game for the past two months, per the source above, and it doesn’t appear all that would have been done for nothing.
Wenger was able to call on his favoured center half pair of Mertesacker and Koscielny against the Hammers but knows very much the inevitable need to sign a strong back up option in the coming weeks.
Koscielny has played very few games this season, leaving us to the risk of playing make-shift options for the best part of three months. Fears over a possible resurgence of his Achilles strains are still hovering around the medical room, and it will surely be against reason to keep depending on Moneal and Debuchy’s ‘versatilities’ as the way to go.
Despite the conceded penalty which handed us control in the game against his team, Reid looked a solid player at the heart of Allardyce defence and will be a dependable option to compliment and compete with any one of our current center backs. Wenger isn’t just going to sign any defender just to make up the numbers or placate the fury of animated gooners.
A defender of a recognized Premier League quality is what we need and that is what Winston Reid is, having formed the bed of rock of Sam Allardyce team this season who have assumed a tough-to-beat status. Not just is he a Premier League defender but being the captain of his National team, he is a natural leader and the absence of a voice has cost us at times.
With the continuous rumours of a potential exit for one or two players, it shouldn’t be impossible to accommodate Reid’s £60,000 demands as that is just about the average paid to any player expected to be of a considerable quality for a top class team.
It is fair to say that Wenger won’t easily tinker with Mertesacker and Koscielny’s partnership in central defence and will probably be looking for someone who will be happy to play when one of them is not available.
We are not going to sign Hummels to scrap that thought and walk straight into the team, so getting someone who, like Ospina, is of good quality but will have the patience to let either one of them slip is definitely a good deal.
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