Arsene Wenger is known to be keen to purchase a new central defender in the January transfer window, but recent reports which claim he watched Chelsea’s match against Maribor will have surprised even the most steadfast Arsenal fans.
Maribor scouting trip
Maribor defender Petar Stojanovic is said to be a shock target for the Frenchman, as reported by news sources in Slovenia, and he would have been impressed by the way the 19-year-old handled himself during the 1-1 draw with Jose Mourinho’s side earlier this week.
Following the departures of Thomas Vermaelen and Bacary Sagna in the summer Wenger's side have been caught short at the back on more than one occasion, and the acquisitions of Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy only appear to have papered over the obvious cracks.
On top of that the partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny doesn't look like it's going to be nearly as effective as it could potentially be, primarily down to the latter's injury woes which have threatened to derail his season.
As such another addition to the heart of the defence in north London is the order of the day, and Stojanovic, despite his relative inexperience at the highest level of the game, could be moulded into a good player if enough time is invested in his development.
Elsewhere there’s more eye-raising transfer news doing the rounds, with Theo Walcott the latest Gunners star to be linked with an exit. Reports last night emerged claiming that Fiorentina have expressed an interest in him, though it’s unlikely Wenger will want to play ball.
With the speedy winger only having just recovered from injury it makes sense to assume Wenger will want to usher him back into the starting XI quickly, and with him yet to hit his peak years as a player Arsenal will want to finally see a handsome return on the investment they made in him all those years ago.
From one player linked with a departure to another, it would appear that Wenger is keen to retain the services of Joel Campbell, despite the fact he hasn't really featured this year. The Costa Rica international impressed last year on loan, and did well at the World Cup in the summer, but it's been said that he's seeking an exit to get himself first-team football.