Wenger identifies player to solve defensive crisis, plans January move

Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van DijkArsenal manager Arsene Wenger will sign a defender when the transfer window re-opens in January as the Frenchman would be hoping to solve his side’s defensive crisis.

According to The Telegraph, the Gunners are looking to bring Celtic star Virgil van Dijk to the Emirates in the mid-season transfer window. The report says the North London club will hand their manager a transfer kitty of £20m to make reinforcements.

Arsenal are hit by injuries as several of their first team regulars are on the treatment table as Wenger is struggling to get his team to the challenge for silverwares. The reigning FA Cup winners are already without the services of summer signing Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny.

The summer signing picked up an injury earlier in the season and he will be out of action until December. Meanwhile, the centre-back is out of action for a month with inflamed Achilles tendons.

With these two massive injury blow in the back four, Wenger has Calum Chambers and Per Mertesacker as the only two centre-backs available in the squad. However, the former Southampton defender is suspended for Arsenal’s upcoming league fixture against Hull City, leaving Wenger with the World Cup winners as the only option for the weekend clash.

Chambers has been filling in the void left by Debuchy’s injury in the right-back position. With injury to Koscielny, Wenger has to deploy the England international in the heart of his side’s back four.

An injury to either Chambers or the German international in the upcoming fixtures or later in the season will put Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for next year’s Champions League in doubt.

To avoid any such situations, Wenger has set his sights on the Dutch centre-back and will sign him in January. Van Dijk’s arrival would give the French manager more options during the team selection as he has confirmed his side will sign a defender early next year.

“I believe we have done remarkably well on the transfer market. I agree we could have bought one more player, (but) we did not find,” Wenger said.

“We will try to rectify that, because we are a bit short with the injuries we have (defensively), and overall I think we will rectify that in the transfer market in January.”

It should be seen whether Van Dijk can strengthen Arsenal’s defence or will it just be a stop gap till Wenger moves for an experienced, world class defender during the next transfer window.

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