As I said in my last article, I was away from watching football this weekend. My Arsenal friends (that’s how we call these days!) however kept sending me incessant texts after Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City last night. Beating City at Etihad at this juncture of the season is indeed a great result that could leave a significant impact in the title & top four race. Enjoy. Celebrate. Listen to cloud #9.
There is also another reason to feel good about. Arsenal are looking to sign a defender in January. Arsene Wenger has stressed the importance of buying a defender, and it looks like the Gunners have found their target.
Recently when Wenger was asked whether he is interested in signing Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan, a long term target of several Premier League clubs including Arsenal, the Frenchman put those rumours to bed claiming – “he is not a defender”. He may be the shiniest toy in the market, but quite clear where Arsenal’s priority lie at the moment.
David Hytner and Sid Lowe of The Guardian write that Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista says his agent is in talks with Arsenal over a possible January transfer.
Gabriel spoke out on Saturday, after playing in Villarreal’s home win over Athletic Bilbao, and he confirmed that there was interest in him from Arsenal. He joined the Spanish club from Vitoria in Brazil for £2.5m in August 2013.
“Whether I go to Arsenal or stay at Villarreal, I won’t lose my head,” Gabriel said. “I’m very calm. My head is at Villarreal and I’m very focused. My agent is working on making sure I continue being calm.”
Gabriel spoke in a previous interview about his desire to play in England. “Playing in the Premier League is one of my dreams,” he said. “I have spoken to my agent about this.”
Wenger stated that it would be “too risky” if they fail to bolster the defence. The Arsenal boss has always stated that he would only a sign someone if the right player is available at the right price.
The 24-year-old has become one of the key players for this Villarreal side, and his arrival would definitely improve the first team squad to a good effect.
This is not the first time Wenger has delved into the January transfer window to exploit the La Liga market. Few seasons back, he signed Nacho Monreal from Malaga; the Spaniard did well enough to become a good squad player for the club.
In fact, Arsenal’s recent top signings are mainly from La Liga imports. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez joined the Gunners from Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, and it seems like Wenger has targeted the La Liga market for his next major signing.
Arsenal have already secured a deal for Legia Warsaw midfielder Krystian Bielik, so there are high chances that Paulista could become the second major signing for the club in January. I still think, Wenger needs a marquee name in the midfield, someone like William Carvalho. Share your thoughts Arsenal fans!