Arsenal have four defender targets for January

Carvalho is on Arsenal's radar (©GettyImages)

Arsenal have identified four defensive targets for the January transfer, including Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.

The Gunners are in need of reinforcements at the back having struggled so far this season. They currently sit in 4th place in the Premier League, while their frailties at the back were exposed in the Champions League when the threw three away a 3-0 lead against Anderlecht.


Now according to the Daily Star it seems as though Arsene Wenger wants to add to his back line in the January window and has identified the four players he intends to target. His hitlist is likely to raise a few eyebrows amongst Arsenal fans as it contains the much-maligned Smalling, as well as former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho.

Also on Wenger's list of targets is Ron Vlaar - who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United - and Celtic's Virgil van Dijk. It came as a surprise to most Arsenal fans that Wenger didn't bring in a direct replacement for Thomas Vermaelen when he left to join Barcelona, although Calum Chambers who can operate in the middle was bought in from Southampton.


To make matters worse they've been forced to deal with a major injury crisis at the back, with Laurent Koscielny, Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal have all been injured at some point this season.

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Smalling has been heavily criticised this season for his performances at Old Trafford this term, and was linked with a move to Arsenal as part of Vermalelen's mooted switch to Manchester United.


That didn't happen but now the England defender appears to be back on their radar, although whether the Red Devils will sell when they have their own problems is unclear. Vlaar may be a more realistic option given that his contract is up next year, while the link with Carvalho will certainly raise eyebrows.

Van Dijk has been linked with a move to the Premier League for some time, although it seems as though Southampton are actively pursuing him as well.

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