Ian Wright defends Arsenal manager over failure to sign top centre-half

Ian Wright says Arsenal will find it difficult to sign a world-class centre-half in January transfer window

Ian Wright has defended Arsene Wenger’s failure to sign a world-class centre-half for Arsenal.

The Gunners suffered their first Premier League defeat since Boxing Day on Sunday afternoon after a 1-0 loss to Chelsea at The Emirates.

It isn’t that easy to go in and get the quality. Maybe Wenger has seen that

Ian Wright

Per Mertesacker received a red card for hauling down Diego Costa in the 18th minute before the controversial Chelsea striker scored his side’s winner just minutes later.

Wenger has signed England defender Calum Chambers and Brazilian Gabriel Paulista to bolster his defensive options over the past 18 months.

When asked why Wenger hasn’t addressed Arsenal’s centre-half weakness like Manchester City have attempted to do, Wright insisted that only a player of Raphaël Varane’s quality would significantly improve the Gunners.

“City paid those millions of pounds for Otamendi and Mangala and we’ve seen their performances up to now,” Wright told BBC Radio Five Live.

“If Wenger bought either of those two, would Arsenal supporters be happy with those two now?

“It isn’t that easy to go in and get the quality. Maybe Wenger has seen that.

“If you’re not going to be able to go and get people like Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, those are the players who will make a difference to the team.

“If you’re not going to pay for someone like Varane, you’re taking a chance.”

Arsenal are in third place in the Premier League table and three points behind surprise leaders Leicester City.

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The Gunners host Southampton at the Emirates Stadium in their next Premier League game on Tuesday 2 February.

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