You’d have had need of a leather jack volume to keep track of all those who’ve been linked with an Arsenal move over the past three to four months but the first few days of this transfer window has already seen some names chalked off the list, the latest reports being that Arsenal will switch defensive attention from Loic Perrin to Brazilian defender, Gabriel Paulista.
Perrin has been very much in the mill as top of Wenger’s list of potential recruits this month given he is especially versatile in many areas within the defensive department, including the ever gaping defensive midfield hole which has defied his tactics this season. The 29-year old’s commanding impact at Saint Etienne gives him the model of an experienced player who could come in and fit into a team like ours, but new reports are of the view that that move has been put on ice with a 24-year old Paulista the new target.
We seem to have developed a knack for Sevilla players this season, Paulista being a teammate of Grzergorz Krychowiak who’s been on our radar for a while. The 6ft 1.5’ center-half has had an impressive campaign this season and word is that he has some of the capabilities of a potential top class defender whom we are in search of.
It’s not in doubt that we need an extra defender in our team with the majority of the burdens resting on Koscielny and Mertesacker. Relying on Monreal or Debuchy to fill in part-time is not the stuff of which Champions League hopefuls are made, and as much as we’d love to see Hummels or Ramos or Howedes, we should have good reason to believe the club would have seen enough from a player before making an approach for them. Koscielny was a complete unknown when he arrived here from the French Second Division but is now rated amongst the best in Europe, and it could be the case with anyone who comes in without us having heard of him before.
Maybe Paulista would cost less than the £6m bill demanded by St. Etienne for Perrin; with Wenger, there’s always the money factor, we all know. As long he’s worth the challenge for which we are bringing him in – give sufficient competition to both our current center-backs – he might as well be worth as much as Flamini.
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