Arsenal fans are understandably excited by the sheer amount of attacking talent linked with summer moves to north London.
Alvaro Morata, Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all reported targets, with the Leicester City pair particularly tipped to sign in the coming weeks.
However, it would seem that Arsenal’s need for defensive reinforcements has been largely forgotten about.
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Whilst Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Montreal all impressed throughout last term, Gabriel Paulista and Per Mertesacker flatted to deceive when given the chance to prove their worth.
As a result, club legend Robert Pires believes a current Premier League centre-back would be a “good” signing for Arsenal this summer: John Stones.
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Yes, Pires is a big fan of the England international and likes the thought of him playing alongside Koscielny.
He said, according to the Mirror: “Premier League is very difficult, is very tough. Not only in the game, but every morning in training.
“In the team you need everything.”
At this point, the silky Frenchman claimed that Stones would be a “good player for Arsenal”.
He also said: “Imagine Stones and Koscielny at the back, would be a good defence.”
Pires is certainly on the right lines. Arsenal might have finished second in the Premier League but they were guilty of conceding far too many cheap goals against sides they should have comfortably beaten.
Stones is far from the finished product, of course, and continues to be criticised for his decision making, but his strength, composure and pace are assets perfectly suited to the Gunners.
Whether they decide to express genuine interest in the Englishman remains to be seen, but they would face a lot of competition to sign him.
Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are all reported suitors, with Stones valued at £40 million.
For now, though, Arsenal’s focus is on securing Vardy after triggering his £20 million release clause last week.
The 29-year-old is yet to make a decision on his future after Leicester counteracted Arsene Wenger’s offer with a fresh deal for their 24-goal striker.
One way or another, it seems Arsenal’s transfer window is far from over after securing the signing of Granit Xhaka for £30 million last month.
Further signings are expected, but much depends on Wenger’s ability to convince his targets of joining him and not a European rival.
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