Arsenal have holes that need to be filled in a squad that is looking dangerously slim.
The defence is an area that particularly needs to be looked at, in the centre especially. With Thomas Vermaelen out until the start of the season, Ignasi Miquel not good enough to step up into contention for a regular spot and Bacary Sagna being moved into the centre, Arsenal have major problems. Here is a list of three centre-backs who could potentially start for Arsenal and provide quality cover when required.
Ashley Williams - Swansea
The saga that has been going on since the start of the window: Ashley Williams to Arsenal. The latest on this rumour is that the Gunners will be going after him, but a £12 million asking price has knocked Wenger back. But he must go back and go after the Wales international who has established himself as one of the best central defenders in the country over the past two seasons. He would fit seamlessly into the line-up as he is technically sound and reads the game very well. No matter who he starts alongside, Williams would be a good fit and a powerful defender is just what Arsenal need. His price may be high and at 28 he is quite old, but Williams is a quality player who is worth some money.
Adil Rami - Valencia
Valencia are letting Adil Rami leave for as little as £7.75 million and Arsenal must pounce at the opportunity. He is currently valued at £10.5 million and this represents a bargain on all fronts for Arsenal. The more youthful Rami is 27 and is hitting his peak while he is more experienced at the elite level of competition as a regular international for France and a proven Champions League performer. The tall figure has deceptive pace and would slot - like Williams - well alongside any of Arsenal's centre-backs. Strong in the air his only fault would be his rare lapses in concentration. But if a proven international can be signed for £4 million less, Wenger must take up the offer and sign the able defender.
Benedikt Howedes - Schalke
Although there is no real interest, Howedes is arguably the best defender of the three listed here. Plying his trade for Schalke he is a tough tackler as well as a more youthful option at the age of just 25. However all of this comes at a price as he is rated at £16 million which would exceed Arsenal's budget for a centre-back. However, he is easily one of the better centre-halves in the Bundesliga and his dribbling and ability to intercept passes make him a great potential signing. He plays short passes from the back regularly and would suit Arsenal's style of play.
On this list Rami seems to be the best option. Most experienced and comes with the least financial burden but each target has a unique selling point. Ashley Williams has Premier League experience and Howedes and Rami are both regulars in Germany and France respectively. On this list I would be most excited if Arsenal were to buy Howedes, but any of these players would add quality and much needed depth to this Arsenal squad.
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