No need for square pegs in round holes at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger’s ability to change a player’s best position is well documented. He has done it successfully with Thierry Henry, Mathieu Flamini and Lauren, to name but a few. It looks as though the next man to head down that path will be Calum Chambers after he slotted in at centre-half during pre-season. With the purse strings now loosened, though, is there any need to try and convert him?
There was a time when it was a case of ‘needs must’ in terms of players playing out of position to cover up certain squad deficiencies. In fact, the football banter directed towards Arsenal over the last few years has focused on precisely those issues at the Emirates. But with plenty of attacking options now available, and with over two weeks of the transfer window to go, now is the time for Wenger to look at improving the squad defensively.
The signings of Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy have gone down well at the Grove but the need for a new centre half is a box which still needs to be ticked, especially now Thomas Vermaelen has gone.
Arsenal have been linked with a few interesting names, most recently Benedikt Höwedes, who would be an excellent signing given his ability to play across the backline. Others linked with a move to the Gunners recently include Luiz Gustavo and William Carvalho, with certain media outlets suggesting they would be converted into central defenders.
Given that both would adequately fill the defensive midfield slot Wenger has been looking to fill all summer, it would make no sense for the Arsenal boss to try and convert them.
With the right additions, this Arsenal team is primed to be a success this season but that relies on Arsene being brave and splashing the cash to fill the two spots left in his squad. Chambers could turn out to be a good central defender but he is not ready for that responsibility yet this season, meaning it is imperative a new centre-half arrives soon for Arsenal to be considered contenders.
With Chambers set to play at centre-half again against Crystal Palace, you might think twice about including the Gunners on your football accumulator this weekend given the style of play Eagles boss Tony Pulis employs.