Three defenders Arsenal could sign in the January transfer window
Iqbal Johal takes a look at three possible defensive signings for Arsenal in the forthcoming January transfer window
An area where Arsenal need some strength in depth is in the centre of defence. The 21-year-old Stones is highly sought-after, being linked heavily with moves to Manchester United and Chelsea. Although a price of £40m may put Arsene Wenger off, the England star would be value for money, due to the fact he could be at the heart of the Arsenal defence for the next decade or so. Since signing for Everton from Barnsley in 2013, Stones has gone on to become a regular for the Toffees, making over 50 league appearances. A versatile defender who can play in the centre or right of defence, Stones is another player who is mature beyond his years and could add security and depth to Arsenal’s back-line. A defender with great speed and discipline who is also a fine footballer, he must be considered strongly by Wenger.
Another young defender linked with a move to The Emirates, is Juventus defender Rugani. The Italy Under-21 star is one of Europe’s most talented centre-halves but his chances at Juventus have been limited. He played 78 times for Empoli before Juventus signed the remaining 50 per cent of his co-ownership for the start of this season. The 2013-14 season saw him named Serie B footballer of the year, and last season he won a place in the Serie A team of the year. With only two appearances for Juventus to his name this time around, the 21-year-old could be what Arsenal are looking for. As with Stones, Rugani is a player mature beyond his years that could be around for the next decade or more. With the future in mind, he is a player that certainly could be heading to London this January.
With Arsenal lacking a top quality left-back, perhaps this Algerian international would be the answer. The 24-year-old Napoli defender was linked with a move to the Gunners in the summer but it appears he is still on Wenger’s radar. He has been a regular since moving from St Etienne in January 2014, making over 50 appearances for the Italian side. He was also impressive in the Algeria side that made it to the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup, before being narrowly beaten by eventual winners Germany. A modern full-back, Ghoulam is excellent going forward with his pace, ability to cross and pick out a key through ball among his strengths. A player with intelligence, who makes the right decisions, he would fit into Arsenal’s patient system of keeping the ball and picking the killer pass, rather than pumping the ball into the box in hope.