It is no secret that Arsenal are in need of reinforcements in this summer's transfer window. The recent announcement of Granit Xhaka is a solution to Arsene Wenger's midfield issues, however, other areas of the squad need some serious attention.
Centre-back is an area which has required improvement for some time now, with the likes of Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista and Calum Chambers seemingly unable to provide the necessary quality to partner Laurent Koscielny on a consistent basis.
Despite the Gunners keeping the most clean sheets in the Premier League last season, defensive errors were still a major issue and plagued them at various times during the previous campaign.
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Southampton's Virgil van Dijk could be a suitable candidate to fill the void next to Koscielny and really improve Arsenal as a pragmatic unit, something which they have needed for many seasons now.
So far no links have been made with regards to Arsenal's interest in the Dutch defender, however, it should be an avenue worth exploring by the club.
The former Celtic man recently signed a new six-year deal with the Saints, nevertheless, this should not make a potential transfer impossible although it would significantly increase his price.
The perfect player for the Gunners
Van Dijk was one of the finest defenders in the Premier league last season, adjusting to the harsh environment of the division rapidly and helping Southampton achieve a very credible sixth-place finish.
The 24-year-old's positioning, aerial presence and tough tackling make him a very fearsome centre-half, one which forwards will not be looking forward to facing in the future.
Arsenal desperately need a defender of this calibre alongside Koscielny. Mertesacker has been a loyal servant for the Gunners, but his lack of both pace and tenacity has been a constant source of issues throughout his time at the club.
On the other hand, Gabriel who does possess copious amounts of pace and tenacity has shown far too much indiscipline, regularly getting caught out of position.
What Van Dijk could potentially bring is a combination of the positives from these two defenders. Tenacious in the tackle, yet much more disciplined, physically similar to Mertesacker, yet more athletic and commanding.
The Dutchman has an aura of calmness around his play, rarely putting his team under pressure. His passing ability is something which should also appeal to the Gunners as Wenger's teams are setup to build from the back.
Van Dijk's ability on the ball seems once again to be a perfect fit with Ronald Koeman utilising a very aesthetically pleasing style of play at Southampton, much like his French counterpart at Arsenal.
All the signs point towards this deal, if it were to occur, being a very positive one for both player and club. Of course, at this moment in time no links have been made, but if Arsenal are hell-bent on acquiring a new centre-back, Van Dijk could be the perfect answer for them.
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