The signing of Petr Cech signaled intent to the transfer market that Arsene Wenger is looking to mount a serious challenge to the Premier League. Now, the next step is to strengthen other areas that require immediate attention.
Okay, this isn’t something that can have a direct or straight answer. Ask 10 supporters and you are bound to get different views. Let’s not get into any discussion on which position to strengthen because it is as sensitive as Jack Wilshere’s fitness. So, let’s look at various options at different positions. With a new goalkeeper already in the bag, Wenger can heave a sigh of relief for that position. Next up, defender?
Possibly! Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny created a wonderful partnership at the back end of last season. It looked like a partnership that can help the club win matches with defence. And of course, they require competition and Wenger would want to sign another centre-back. The manager would want to look at someone experienced, someone who can step up and someone who already played at the top level.
All these boxes can be ticked simultaneously if Wenger can go for Johnny Evans, which is what the latest transfer rumours talk about. The 27-year-old defender could not manage to cement his place in the starting XI at Old Trafford under Louis Van Gaal. There were times when he looked out of sync with the rest of the team and so, it looked only natural that the defender would be shipped out at the earliest opportunity.
But, is it going to be an acquisition that will lift the club? Or even something that is required by the team? Not entirely so. The Northern Ireland international hasn’t been great at Manchester United. If he switches to London, it could only mean he is sitting on a different bench. There is no way in the world that in the current scheme of things, Evans will start for any team, let alone Arsenal.
True, that United is trying to offload the experienced defender. True, that Evans could be a nice addition with his experience. True, that Arsenal has past experience of buying from United. But, that doesn’t mean the club can just jump at the first available opportunity to sign an outcast. Think about this – how many United fans will be worried at the prospect of losing Evans; and think how many Arsenal fans will be sad if he doesn’t sign for the Gunners.
For many the answer to the above question should settle the discussion on Evans. If it doesn’t and Wenger goes on to sign him for the Gunners, there could be more groans from the supporters than applauses. At least, as of now!