A common complaint of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal teams is that they lack the defensive steel required to win the Premier League.
Wenger has always championed an intricate attacking style of football, but in recent years this has too often led to defensive horror shows (thumping defeats at Old Trafford, Anfield, and Stamford Bridge).
But, rumours are building that the Frenchman has been keeping an eye on a Premier League centre back, and may be willing to splash his cash again (so soon after acquiring Granit Xhaka’s signature).
The defender in question? Kurt Zouma of Chelsea; according to Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli’s Twitter account.
— Emanuele Giulianelli (@EmaGiulianelli) May 27, 2016
The Lyon-born French international had an impressive season last year, making 28 appearances for Chelsea whilst establishing himself as a key first team player. If not for a horrendous injury against Manchester United in February, Zouma may have seen himself jetting off to the Euros this summer.
However, as impressive as this all is, the defender is reportedly looking to jump ship.
Arsene Wenger seems to have offered Zouma a fresh start at Arsenal, and with this has promised him a starting place and guaranteed Champions League football (something Chelsea will not have next year).
This should be seen as a major coup by Arsenal fans if Wenger pulls it off. The centre back is still only 21 years old, and is considered one of Europe’s biggest prospects in his position.
But there are stumbling blocks.
Zouma’s current contract at Chelsea doesn’t expire until 2019, which could give Chelsea reason to drive his price up much higher (they paid £12m for him in 2014). Furthermore, the Chelsea fans have taken a liking to the centre back, and new boss Antonio Conte may not want to upset the status quo too much upon his arrival at Stamford Bridge.
Wenger, though, would see his reputation skyrocket if he pulled off such a signing.
Zouma could potentially become a star in north London, and his versatility (he can also play right back, and holding midfield) could be key if Arsenal are to be serious contenders for that Premier League title.
The added bonus of nabbing a player from cross-London rivals will only sweeten the deal for Arsenal fans.