Arsenal were already going into the start of this new season with depleted defensive ranks thanks to injuries to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker and Arsene Wenger’s plans would have been thrown into disarray with the injury to Gabriel last Sunday. That gives the very likely possibility of a patched up centre back pairing going into the first game of the season and beyond. There will be a huge clamour by Arsenal fans for Wenger to sign a new Centre Back before the month ends, here are 3 that could very well be on Wenger’s radar
At 28 years old the former Manchester United defender seems like he has been around for ever and it’s that kind of reliability and experience that Wenger could do with if he is to make an addition in the next few weeks. The Northern Ireland has been a bedrock of both Sunderland and West Brom defences but after his efforts in France this Summer he is worthy of plying his trade for a bigger club.
With Mertesacker’s lack of pace and susceptibility to keep out pacy forwards then Wenger may feel that bringing in the younger model Evans will revitalise a back line that has come in for criticism over the past few seasons. West Brom will certainly not want to lose him but it will be hard to fend off clubs of Arsenal’s stature should they come calling
Another potential target could be Germany’s Shokdran Mustafi who currently plies his trade in Spain with Valencia. Mustafi represented his country at Euro 2016 and scored their opening goal as Germany progressed as far as the Quarter Finals.
The 24 year old has youth on his side but also international experience and would be the ideal upgrade on compatriot Mertesacker. That said Valencia will not be willing to let him leave on the cheap and will be looking to recoup almost double the £8m they spent to bring him to The Mestalla back in 2014.
Arsenal have been long time admirers of West Ham’s Winston Reid. Could now be the time that Wenger finally makes his move to bring Reid from East to North London. After an impressive 2010 World Cup with New Zealand, Reid has called West Ham home for the past 6 seasons but could he now be ready to swap the Olympic Stadium for The Emirates
The 28 year old has been the bedrock of the West Ham defence over those 6 seasons and if Slaven Bilic was to lose him just before the start of the season it would be a hammer blow for their preparations but for Arsenal it would plug the defensive gap perfectly. The stumbling block here is that it would probably be the most expensive of the three options with West Ham incredibly reluctant to sell.