Gunners target Loic Perrin purchase to solve defensive crisis
Arsenal, 6/4 chances with Coral to finish outside the top four, have turned their attention to St-Etienne captain Loic Perrin in a bid to solve their shortage in defensive positions, according to the weekend tabloids.
Uncapped 29-year-old French footballer Perrin was a standby player for Didier Deschamps’ Les Blues nations squad that reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil this past summer.
A central defender, who can also play at right back or in the holding midfield role, Perrin appears to be the perfect solution to Gunners gaffer Arsene Wenger’s problems at the back.
Reportedly available at a bargain price of £6m, purchasing Perrin looks to be the cheapest option open to Arsenal, with other reported targets including Sporting Lisbon anchorman William Carvalho and Borussia Dortmund centre half Mats Hummels likely to cost more than a combined £50m.
Having helped St-Etienne, nicknamed Les Verts because of their green kit, into the Europa League for this season last term, Perrin has skippered his side to a dozen clean sheets across all competitions in the current campaign so far.
Wenger is both short in central defence and in deeper-lying midfield positions. Mikel Arteta, Laurent Koscielny and Jack Wilshere all remain on the sidelines, so in recent games either Mathieu Debuchy or Nacho Monreal, both natural full backs, have had to play in the heart of the rearguard.
Mathieu Flamini and youngster Francis Coquelin are the only defensive midfield options open to the Gunners, so bringing in Perrin could see him plug gaps as and when needed.
A move to the Emirates may also enhance Perrin’s prospects of becoming a squad regular for France, who are hosting Euro 2016. He was included in Deschamps’ most recent roster, and was among the substitutes for Les Bleus’ end of year friendly against Sweden.
Arsenal are 4/1 shots to win a major trophy this season, but need bodies in defence if they are to deliver silverware to north London.