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This summer many expected Arsenal to buy at least one world class central defender. Having lost Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona, it was necessary for the Gunners to buy a top class replacement. Of course, Wenger had other ideas.
Mertesacker and Koscielny are the first choice central defenders at the club. They have been an epitome of excellence for the past one year and are expected to remain the defensive wall for this team. Wenger didn’t want to disrupt their chemistry; hence added a young highly talented defender instead, Calum Chambers, who being versatile could operate as a perfect team player.
It is easy to fathom the logic behind. Vermaelen was left frustrated with lack of opportunities at Arsenal, but young Chambers would keep patience for his turn to arrive. But what if – a) either or both the first choice defenders get injured? b) or perform poorly?
The talk of defensive crisis at Arsenal is somewhat misleading. Chelsea, the league leaders and Manchester City, the champions, both have conceded 10 goals in the league already; Arsenal, fourth in the table have conceded 11.
But, one has to admit that Arsenal are badly missing the services of Koscielny, who has been absent since the last international break. In his place, Nacho Monreal has been highly unconvincing in make-shift centre back role.
This could prompt Wenger to delve into the transfer market in January to buy one or two central defenders. According to Dutch media outlet Soccer News, the Gunners are interested in signing Aston Villa’s skipper Ron Vlaar. The 29-year-old would bring in much needed experience to the Arsenal squad, though at his age, there’s hardly any room for personal improvement.
Another defender linked with the North London outfit is Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk. The 23-year-old would cost around €12m, while the former Groningen star is rated as one of the best central defenders in the Scottish league. Vlaar, however, would cost roughly around €5m as he has only a year left on his contract.
What do you think – should Arsenal sign any one or both of them? Vlaar could be an effective signing but will Arsenal pay that amount for him, whose contract will expire next year? Have your say below.