Arsenal transfers: Arsene Wenger urged to sign pacey centre-half

Former Rep of Ireland midfielder Kevin Kilbane discusses who Arsenal should sign before transfer deadline

By Ned Bristow

Kevin Kilbane has run the rule over who he thinks Arsenal should be bringing in on deadline day.

With the 18:00 BST deadline just hours away, Preston-born winger Kilbane believes Arsène Wenger should be busting a gut to bring in a pacey centre-half.

With Laurent Koscielny and the notoriously slow Per Mertesacker currently first choice at the Emirates, the 38-year-old believes the Gunners need another centre-half to add speed to the back line and balance out Arsenal’s style of play.

“Arsenal play such an open and expansive game that you feel they really do need more pace at centre-back,” Kilbane told BBC Sport.

“Laurent Koscielny has pace but it’s something Per Mertesacker is lacking, although I do like Gabriel – maybe he could end up establishing himself as the long-term solution at centre-half.

“I’ll judge Francis Coquelin over two years but there does seem to be a reluctance to go into the market for a holding midfielder from Arsene Wenger, too. It has to be said though – there is a real shortage in the market. Teams can’t go out and buy ready-made stoppers.”

In terms of other positions, Kilbane said Wenger was right to give Francis Coquelin another season to impress with the form he displayed during the second half of last term, while also defending managers by contextualising the competitive transfer market.

MORE: Read the latest Arsenal player tweets

Arsenal have had a slow start to the season, with seven points from a possible 12 including hard-fought wins over Crystal Palace and Newcastle.

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