Should Arsenal have tried much harder to sign Jonny Evans as a priority?

There is absolutely no doubt that the reason Arsenal are nowhere near the top four right now is because of the comical defending by our ageing first choice back three, and also because of more errors by our inexperienced backups when Monreal, Koscielny and/or Mustafi were out injured. Not to mention the occasional mistake by Petr can’t-save-a-penalty Cech as well…

Our ‘goals conceded’ column is beyond a joke, especially away from home, so I was extremely surprised that Arsene didn’t try his hardest to bring in a super-experienced top class Premier League defender in January. It was revealed that we tried hard to get Jonny Evans during the summer, and it seemed nailed-on to me that Arsenal would go even harder for him in January considering how badly he has been needed so far. Even the bookies made us very short odds to bring in the West Brom captain after Alan Pardew made it clear he was prepared to sell to draw in funds for a badly-needed striker. Pardew also continually made it clear that the later the bid came in, the least likely they were to be able to get in a replacement.

But as usual Arsenal ignored Pardew and Arsenal left our bid until the very last minute, which was a classic case of too little too late. This is what the Mirror reported of an interview with the Baggies manager….

Arsenal were interested in Evans,30, but Pardew explained their offer – believed to be around £12m – was instantly dismissed.

Pardew said: “It wasn’t for a lack of warning to the clubs like Arsenal.

“I sat here every week saying there was no point coming in late unless it was going to knock us off our chair.

“It was no-where near that. They got the response they were expecting with that bid.

“Jonny is an important, great player and part of the spine of the team.”

So why did Arsenal go in too late and too cheap? We needed Evans at the beginning of the window! In January we won just one of our four Premier League games, with Wenger loudly complaining about our defensive mistakes after our defeats to Bournemouth and (cringe!) Swansea. So why didn’t he address that problem as our very first priority?

Darren N


  1. georgie b says:

    We do have a very promising defender who was on the bench for Chelsea. Might this not be timrr to let him play?

    1. georgie b says:

      I mean Mavropanos.

  2. We should have done the rumoured Giroud-Luiz swap deal. Trying to buy a world class defender will be very difficult unless we splash out again in the summer which will be unlikely.

  3. Dan says:

    Should have tried harder to sign a top defender not Johnny Evans!!! Wenger should be spending money on defence and a top quality holding midfielder until that happens we will never challenge for premier league tittle and continue to struggle to make top 4!!

  4. mogunna says:

    Indeed, we should have mate, as Luis from chelky, and you said it as i pointed last night…Kos is the only top class center back, Mus has qualities and spirit but not top class, let’s get real, Kos even look strange because he is alone and fed up after a while with these guessing positionning tactics all players look lost really, look at Bellerin! He used to be the best in the league, still is, but is blocked, like he has a break on, his game and football education as a modern left back is ruined…He needs space to o go up and down, start from the back, then create danger and additional threats… Anyhow, subject is Evans, indeed, and Luiz would have also been helpful. Mustafi with both would be banched. The cener midfield and back have only one player, Kos, Mustafi or Mertesacker or not securing at all…And in Center midfield we don’t have anyone since Viera. So, Diaby got cursed, he was it. But it is many we haven’t signed as kanté or sissoko spurs, repositionned in CM, he would one of the best, a beast, defending, going forward, ard box to box, a power engine…We don’t have that and he is not playing, was top class during world cup, better than Kanté, he was france MVP. Put him on CM and watch…Anyway…If the all center defending is so weak, pyramide is easy to break apart. Can come straight in the middle and panic on board, can cross or come from flanks to the middle, panic on board…A sissoko in that middle coming from the back, destroys all, straight down the middle…Now defenses are in panic because with attackin guys and someone coming that way, powering , will pusg us forward..;like rugby.. Sp, we do have to look at the center of our problem, it is right in the center defending…You can bring any atacking players, if you dont have those center backs and CDM powerhouse going forward, you finished…Gotserka is another one…We should have snatched him now…Pay 20 millions, not wait so he can be free for everyone to give him more than us… Just like kanté, was so mad, he wanted to come. So Luis Suarez, and he was lacazette price nor expensive then…Crazy!

  5. John0711 says:

    NO we have enough bang average players already

  6. PIRES says:

    evans is crap

  7. GB says:

    Cos he’s not even worth £12 mil !
    £2 mil yes.

  8. barryglik says:

    The club lost 50 m on the
    Sanchez deal then spent another
    56m on a marquee striker
    to appease the fans despite
    signing a record priced striker Lacazette just 6 months ago
    and still having Giroud Wellbeck and Perez.
    So 100 m on the attack left no money for the defense
    3m Mavropanos is our defensive spend and maybe a free Alex Song.
    We desperately need the two man axis the conduit between defense and attack.
    Coquelin and Cazorla worked a treat.
    Now they are both gone and we hope Xhaka Ramsey Elneny
    and Wilshere will magically become the new Vieira+ Gilberto.

    1. John0711 says:

      Barry check your figures in the last two windows we made money

  9. mark says:

    Not sure Evans would have improved our defence too much. 12 million was generous.

  10. Sal says:

    happy we didn’t sign him, that means we are forced to buy, hopefully quality in the summer!! there are also loads of defenders younger and less expensive than luiz so i’m not worried and neither should you, with 50 mil we can get two solid defenders from germany/france/italy/holland not every defender suddenly sells at van dijk prices we got time if we start identifying our summer targets now… the second half of this season will be: can you outscore us? because lets face it, we won’t be getting better defensively with the lack of support from the middle and our injury prone defenders, a Cech that’s declining. but going forward on paper that is just frightening!! auba laca with pace and deadly finishing, ozil sees all, and dortmund miki with combinations and behind the def passes, youngsters like iwobi and nelson will get some game time as well but not as starters. i kinda feel sorry for anyone facing us, only one option sit deep and long ball. and if we started high pressing well oh boy oh boy oh boy!!

  11. jakseth says:

    Let’s just look at the past. Arsenal best spell during the last few years was the 8 months where Coquelin and Cazorla were working together to shore up the midfield.
    Coquelin was covering our defense efficiently gaining the nickname Columbo by Thierry Henry. Cazorla was bringing the ball up quickly, avoiding interception in tight space to release it fast to our attack.
    Since both of them are out the team we have been very fragile in defense and very slow to bring in bringing the ball past midfield. I believe we have enough quality to replace Cazorla in Ramsey and Whilshere. But sorry, Xhaka and Eleny are not cutting it to replace Coquelin at his best ( which did not last, we all agree).
    So instead of arguing about Jonny Evans or not, she should all recognize what we need a real deep midfielder who can take off pressure from our defenders. As soon as we stop being weak in defense the free flow football will come back.
    Our freeflow football, I believe, is very reliant to our mindset and as far as we fragile at the back we won’t be enough liberated to play well in the front. With a stronger deep midlfielder even Iwobi will play well.

  12. Grandad says:

    Further rebuilding will take place in the summer window when hopefully the recruitment of a goalkeeper,at least one centre back and a defensive midfielder will be given priority.Luis and Evans are not long term solutions to our defensive problems and as we are already out of contention for a top four spot give our youngsters a chance to prove their mettle .Give MN an opportunity in central/defensive midfield and give Chambers and Holding a run together at centre back in a flat back four system with our fullback first priority being to defend.Too often we find both our fullback s caught upfield when we get hit on the break.If Bellerin is upfield Monreal should not be.Defensive planning?Just what is Bould contributing?

  13. Sven says:

    Jonny Evans at 31, and 5 months before he’s available for 3 mill, is not worth bloody 20 mill. pounds.

    In this case I think 12 mill. was a decent offer, if Giroud was 17 mill. (same age, but has actual footballing skills).

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