Should Arsenal go for ‘best centre-half in Europe’?

There have been thousands of calls from Arsenal fans to secure a top holding midfielder and a marquee style super-striker this summer, but after the interest in Benedikt Howedes it seems probable that Wenger is also looking for a top class centre-back.

If so, then surely he should be looking at a player described as “the best centre-half in Europe“, especially when he would be easy to buy for around the £10million mark!

The defender in question is Virgil Van Dijk, Celtic’s Dutchman who has been at the club for just two years. Van Dljk has made it clear that he is keen to be tested at a higher level, but Celtic’s assistant manager John Collins says that he should not rush to move away from a club that is guaranteed Champions League football, albeit in the Qualifying Rounds. Collins was quoted as saying in the Mail: ‘I believe there is currently no better centre half in Europe than Virgil van Dijk,’ said Ronny Deila’s No 2 as the SPFL fixtures were announced on Friday.

‘I watch Champions League football, I watch Premier League football every week and Virgil is as good as anybody who is playing football in Europe.

‘Virgil can play for any team in Europe — so the important thing is he doesn’t think he has to jump ship quickly and take the first offer.

‘I’ve no doubt that one day he will be at a top Champions League club, one of the mega names in Europe.’

‘The Champions League is the ultimate tournament for a player,’

‘I know Virgil will be looking forward to playing there with Celtic. He has two years to go on his contract. He loves playing for Celtic. The fans love him and we love working with him.

‘There may come a day when he moves on from Celtic. But he has two years to go. At the very least, we need him for the qualifiers.’

‘I’m very surprised he’s not in the Holland team and that is probably down to snobbery because of the league he is playing in rather than the quality of the individual.’

Well, Collins is obviously impressed with Van Dijk’s quality, and Arsenal have been linked with the Dutchman for the last year. Should Wenger bring in the “best centre-half in Europe” as a backup defender at such a reasonable price?

Tags Celtic Collins van dijk


  1. Does anybody else have a bad taste in their mouth with us paying Chelsea 10m+ for a 33 years old keeper who is their second choice?

    Great keeper yes, but for what? Another year or 2.

    10m for an ageing keeper is actually a bit weak sighted in my opinion

    1. Mot really considering he is in the top 5. We can probably get 3-5 years out of him as well as a role model for the younger keepers.

      1. Well £10m is around half to two thirds the price of De Gea, who is in my opinion in the top 3 keepers in the world. And De Gea is 9 years younger, not even at his peak yet. So in that sense, yes, we massively overpaid. Remains to be seen how long Cech will last though. 2-3 seasons probably.

    2. Keepers can go up until they start hittin late 30’s – I imagine Cech still has 5~6 years of world class quality left in him before his gloves should be passed on to his kid(s)

      1. Then why is Iker Casillas considered past it when he’s only 34? Over the past decade he’s been considered the best in the world.

        1. Real has its own set of rules – maybe it is all a bit stale after 16 years. Not sure anyone has written him off as a GK anyway.

          Seaman was nearly 39 when we won the PL in 2002 with us and still playing for England. Schmeichel still at United aged 36 and carried on in top flight till 40. Shilton still in top division at 42. Lehmann didn’t join us till he was 34. Buffon in UCL final at 37 and still playing for Italy. Schwarzer played for Chelsea recently aged 41 and still active. Friedel a full season at TH aged 41 – the list of goalkeepers playing beyond 35 is almost endless. Might be harder to name a top flight goalkeeper who was finished/retired before 35 – be a much shorter list.

    3. I do…a very bad is a fantastic deal for Chelsea considering they have Courtois and not a very good one for Arsenal considering Ospina is quite decent. Its not even that cech is 33, he is a fantastic keeper no doubt but GK is the absolute LEAST of Arsenal’s problems. The weak spot in the defence is not the GK it’s Mertersacker.
      Once again, the needs are not being addressed.
      I would prefer if they had added this 10 million to the insulting 40 million and 1 pound used to bid for Suarez. It should be used to try and get benzema or a marquee striker.

    4. Would Jackson Martinez (Top player who could give us 3-5 top seasons) be bad business at 10mil? Obviously not, so how is Cech (world class GK with 3-5 years left in the tank) bad business?

      It’s the contrary. I’m not sure you’ll see a better deal for a player with so much to offer a team this entire window. Keep me informed if there’s a world class DM or ST that can offer us 3+seasons for 10mil…

      1. ADD*
        like add 1+2 = 3
        like add 10 mill + 30 mill = 40 mill
        Get it?
        Benzema might cost 40 mill but the board will decide not to buy him because they already spent 10 mill on cech.

        Get it? Got it?…good. 😉

    5. Wenger just cant win with some people. He gets hounded when he chooses to pay only what he thinks is fair and he still gets stick when he chooses to pay over the odds. It is a little steep for a thirty three year old even though he is a keeper, but i think you have to factor in the potential service you could still get from this guy and you have to factor that he is coming from che, so in my mind it is worth the risk if you could call it that or he is worth the extra 5 to 7 mil.

  2. apart from sanchez, wenger has completely lost it in the transfer market of late….mikel, chamakh, squillaccy, giroud, podolski,park, n that guy who played for just five minutes of FA cup etc…
    No.4 next season, an early exit in champions league, crappy defeats(at home to Swansea) no cup n of cos a NEW and IMPROVED CONTRACT for Mr WENGER up to 2030 are just but a few things i expect…n not forgetting a 1 yr old prodigy(next bergkamp)….
    for god’s sake our main striker surrounded by ozil, sanchez, carzola,ramsey,chambo etc have never scored a hat-trick for arsenal….n i mean never like NEVER!! …Am sure he wont even make the starting 11 of everton… safe expect the worst ie dont raise your expectations now n then start yapping at September that we need a striker, dm etc…The side effect of that is always becoming a WOB for a huge portion of the season up until march when the team work their asses out, grabs seven wins in a row, finishes strongly, everyone’s praising it as the best team from the turn of the year, Mr Wenger buys(mostly comes free or cheap) a mediocre player, everyone is nuts over him n by October, we r fighting for the champions league spot and the cycle continues like FOREVER………………….

      1. Every club have/had players who make the grade and ones who have not made it. If you are only going to judge managers on their poorer signings alone you should at least be fair about it and give us a dossier on rival managers and their signings which left much to be desired, it would be rational that way.

  3. As a long time fan, anyone who thinks we will buy a center-back or a DM is totally nuts…Come on guys, u can do better than that because i believe you are smart people…
    We have carzola, wilshere, arteta, ramsey, rosicky, coquelin, chambo,ozil, chambers, flamini n of those carzola, arteta, flamini, wilshere, ramsey, coquelin, rosicky, chambers all can play holding MF position n of cos the manager expects our soon to be new signing diaby to be injury free all season so that position is fully covered..
    As for CB, we bought Gabriel mid season in order to for him to blend in early so shoot me if we buy a high profile CB..
    But i can promise you that we will buy a goalkeeper(==Czech =>certain) n maybe just maybe a striker(very very unlikely( High unlikely))
    Any other buy will be a chambers type of buy if you know what i mean

  4. Sad to say…but as long as we don’t make quality signings, we won’t win the BPL. Can you imagine a team of Arsenal’s calibre only reaching the finals of UCL once in out history. Our problem has been complacency in the transfer windows.

  5. An absolute no brainer to sign cech for 10m. He brings several thibgs to the club: 1. His quality. 2. Experience that can be used to help younger keepers on our books. 3. A commanding calm manner than can organise and comand the back line. 4. A winninģ mentality. 5. Maybe one of the best goal keeping coaches around may come with him. If we are able to add a young combative dm player we are in much better shape, hell I’d even take James Mccarthy! Ideally would love to see vidal/kondogbia/wanyamma. I’ll be interested to see if bielek comes good and what shape hes in after some time in the gym as per ozil and theo. A striker would be nice but not sure if will happen, I wonder if wenger has a rabbit uo his sleeve and will sign a younger or unproven striker.

  6. Really interesting, i do not see a new CB coming in, we seem to have a new GK(in truth not really needed), the DM role is sticky and really do not know if wenger will buy, i do think we have internal solutions in Hayden and chambers. Wenger may just look a Kallstrom like buy, to act as stand in when Coquelin not playing.

    The money should be thrown at a new forward, my choice Benteke, i do feel Welbeck has all we need in a forward, but due to the competitive nature of the EPL, he will not get the time needed to develop as a forward.

    i have no doubt we will be challenging for the title, with or without reinforcement

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