Arsenal transfers: Three defenders Arsene Wenger could sign
Three defenders Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could target in the summer transfer window
The 29-year-old Diego Godin would certainly add a steely determination to the Arsenal back-line. It’s fair to say that in times of adversity, the Gunners have been found wanting for quite some time now and the signing of another South American would guarantee grit and heart. With five major titles to his name in a five-year career with Atletico Madrid, the Uruguay international would provide an alternative to Per Mertesacker in the limited defender role alongside the more accomplished Laurent Koscielny. Godin’s strongest attributes are aerial duels and high concentration. Arsene Wenger would be required to pay over £20m for a player not far off 30, but for his money, he would be guaranteed an old school defender with that much-sought after quality of being a winner.
The former Real Madrid and Benfica man is probably more of a Wenger signing with a good range of passing from the back. Similarly to Godin, Ezequiel Garay would cost around the £20m mark but that would be a small price to pay to secure a first title in north London in 11 years. Currently plying his trade in Russia with Zenit St Petersburg, the 28 year-old Argentinian would also bring a wealth of international experience, having represented his country 31 times, including in last year’s World Cup final. However, Garay is not the strongest in the air and is probably seen as more of an alternative to Laurent Koscielny, someone who Wenger would be very unlikely to want to replace. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility for Le Professeur to opt for two ball playing centre-halves and try to secure the title in style.
Perhaps Wenger will continue his trend towards buying British. The Gunners have already been linked with the 25-year-old this summer, who would probably cost around £15m. A good all-round defender who can also play the ball out from the back, it’s easy to see why the England international is attracting the Gunners’s attention. With 18 England caps to his name, Smalling seems to be an improving type and would further enhance Arsenal’s British core. Furthermore, he would add title-winning experience to The Emirates dressing room after having won the top-flight crown twice with United. However, having recently signed a new deal at Old Trafford, it would take some bid for Louis van Gaal to allow one of his strongest defenders to move to a direct rival.