With injuries to Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal leaving Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger short at the back, the Frenchman may look to bring in Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar in the January window to bolster his options.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is struggling to put an effective back four together in the wake of injuries to Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal. The Frenchman is hoping that Kieran Gibbs and Per Mertesacker will be fit enough to take the field in Saturday’s derby clash with bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Many Gunners fans are questioning why Wenger didn’t add more defensive signings over the summer, especially as he allowed club captain and centre half Thomas Vermaelen to leave for Barcelona. Wenger however defended his apparent inactivity citing the dearth of quality defensive targets as the reason he stayed out of the market. He was quoted by ESPN as saying:
“There is not a lot on the market and if you look at the other clubs, they had exactly the same problem. If you went anywhere, everybody is looking for defenders. I feel that we made a very good buy with Calum Chambers and we are a bit unlucky to lose Debuchy and Monreal at the same time together.
“No matter how many players you buy, you cannot have three players in every position because it is impossible to manage.”
Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar has been mentioned as a possible January buy to address the problem, according to The Express. The centre back who impressed for the Netherlands at the World Cup had been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United over the summer but in the end Villa boss Paul Lambert won the battle to to hold onto his man.
Lambert may now have to fend off interest from Arsene Wenger during the January transfer window.
However, former Gunners stalwart Martin Keown questioned whether Vlaar has the pace and mobility to play in the Arsenal back four. Writing in The Daily Mail he mused:
“If I’m going to be picky, I don’t think he’s mobile enough.He played well at the World Cup for Holland as part of a back three but that was because he had quick players either side of him. He’s a solid player but before somebody like Arsenal or United go in for him it’s important not to think of Vlaar the World Cup player but remember Vlaar the Villa player last year.
“He is a good defender and obviously Villa won’t want to lose him but it’s different when you’re buying a player. You want them to improve on what you already have and I’m not sure he would at United or Arsenal.”
While it’s doubtless the former great’s assessment carries weight, Wenger may overlook these concerns given his urgent needs at the back.
Dan O’Mahony, Pundit Arena.