Five centre back signings for Arsenal after early season struggles
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | August 20, 2016
Centre back signings for Arsenal
Injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista, plus Laurent Kosicelny’s late start to pre-season because of Euro 2016 have left Arsenal short of experience in defence with disastrous results.
For all the Gunners’ positive attacking play, they conceded four goals against Liverpool in their Premier League opener. Young duo Calum Chambers and Rob Holding were left horribly exposed.
With Arsene Wenger assuring angry fans he does have money to spend on this problem area, Coral’s football experts have come up with five potential centre back signings for Arsenal, who are now 9/1 for the title…
Northern Ireland international Evans has played on big stages with Manchester United, and current club West Bromwich Albion are reportedly willing to let him go if the Gunners are genuinely interested.
There’s no official bid tabled for the left-footer yet, however. Evans also has a patchy injury record, though, and Arsenal need someone who isn’t likely to be joining Mertesacker and Gabriel on the treatment table.
Ex-Everton youngster Mustafi is the player linked most consistently with the Gunners this summer. Also able to deputise at right back, such versatility would be a bonus.
Wenger will have to pay a rumoured release clause of £40m if he is to land this World Cup winner, and the Arsenal manager is notriously frugal with the club’s finances.
A cheaper option might be Denmark’s cultured Kjaer, however. Currently on the books of Fenerbahce, the asking price could be around €15m to take him from Turkey to Arsenal.
Now 27, Kjaer has already played in five different European leagues, including the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A. This is not the first time he’s been linked with the Premier League, though, and so far no firm interest from any English club has materialised in him.
The Gunners have already signed one Switzerland international with their early capture of midfielder Granit Xhaka, so why not go in for another in Hoffenheim defender and set-piece threat Schar?
Compatriots Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou launched their senior careers at Arsenal, so there is a steady stream of Swiss defenders doing a job at the club in recent years.
We’ve seen so many transfers to Manchester City from the Gunners, so maybe it’s about time someone moved in the opposite direction. Mangala’s career has stalled at the Etihad, so could a switch (perhaps on loan) to the Emirates help revive it?
Arsenal’s reported interest in Mustafi means Valencia may be a more likely destination, but Wenger does have penchant for signing fellow Frenchmen. At his best, Mangala is a physically-imposing man mountain and would add the strength that was lacking against Liverpool.
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Gunners fans, we’d like to hear from you! What centre back signings for Arsenal would you like to see? Have your say in the comments section below…