Emirates boss keen to boost defensive options.
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Arsene Wenger’s side faces Chelsea this weekend in a top of the table clash, which promises to be an exciting encounter. Arsenal have been inconsistent this season and have lost as many as three times at the Emirates which could prove pivotal in the context of the title race. However, they must ensure that they beat the Blues on Sunday at the Emirates to keep the heat on table toppers Manchester United.
The Gunners have formidable options when it comes to attack which includes the likes of Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie. However, their defense has let them down on many occasions this season with the two new signings Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci prone to making crucial errors at the back.
With the January transfer window approaching, Wenger might try to sign a good defender who could provide the stability at the back and form a commanding partnership with Thomas Vermaelen in the future. Here are five defenders who Wenger could target in January.
1. Per Mertesacker
The German International is one of the most important players at Werder Bremen and possesses the quality to excel at a top European club like Arsenal. There are reports that he might not extend the contract which would mean he would be available for a price within Arsene Wenger’s budget.
The tall German possesses good aerial ability and could improve Arsenal’s defending at set-pieces and has the experience to organise the defence. He is only 25 and provides a very good option for Arsene Wenger. Having represented Germany on 73 occasions, he would be great addition for the Gunners with the only drawback being the fact that he is ineligible to participate in Arsenal’s Champions League campaign.
2. Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill has been an integral part of the Bolton team for the last few seasons and has impressed for the Trotters. He is one of the major factors why Bolton are comfortably placed in the top half of the table. Bolton Manager Owen Coyle made it clear that he would let the England International leave if the right offer is made by a big club.
He has good aerial ability and also would not need any time to adjust to the Premiership. Cahill is also technically good and can bring out the ball from the back if needed. He was linked with a move to the Emirates in the summer but stayed with the Trotters. If a good offer is made by the Frenchman, Cahill could be in an Arsenal kit in January.
3. Jan Vertonghen
The Ajax defender is a key component of the Dutch team and has been tracked by a number of clubs in the recent past. At only 23 years of age, he could be an ideal signing for Wenger who is known for recruiting some of the best young talents in the world.
He possesses good aerial ability and his versatility to play as a Left Back or a Defensive Midfielder could be an important factor considering Arsenal is likely to be affected by injuries over the course of the season. He has good understanding with Thomas Vermaelen with whom he has played for Ajax and Belgium and could foster a formidable partnership in the future. He represents Ajax in the Champions League and so will be ineligible to represent any other club in the European Competition this season.
4. Brede Hangeland
Arsene Wenger has been linked with the tall Fulham defender over the last couple of seasons and could look to Brede Hangeland to solve their present defensive worries. The Norway International is very experienced and has been successful for Fulham in the Premier League.
He possesses very good aerial ability and is a goal scoring threat from set-piece situations. He has good physical strength and reads the game quite well. He is not very fast but his good positioning and understanding of the game makes up for that. Hangeland is not young at 29 but could provide the experience to Arsenal’s back line and be the first choice Centre Back until Laurent Koscielny establishes himself as the first choice defender for the Gunners.
5. Mamadou Sakho
It should not be a surprise if Wenger does sign another Frenchman for the Gunners and Mamadou Sakho would certainly be an excellent signing for the Gunners. He is only 20 but has already made over 100 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain. He is touted to be one of the best defenders in the future and has already been called up for the France national team having captained all youth International teams.
Sakho has good aerial ability and his physical strength could ensure that he is not muscled out by strong strikers like Didier Drogba. He has a bright career ahead of him and could be interested in a move to the Emirates where he would have fellow Frenchmen including the likes of Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Abou Diaby and Bacary Sagna who could help him settle down easily at Arsenal.
Read more from Vijay at Arsenal Invicible
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