I am going out on a limb here and assuming that Arsene Wenger will now accept that some of the current Arsenal squad are not good enough, and to have any chance of winning the Premier League title next year he will have to add some real top quality players in the summer transfer window. We all fear, though, that the Frenchman will not agree.
But if he does, then the recent dropping of Per Mertesacker, combined with the fact that the German is now into his 30s, could point to the fact that a centre back will be near the top of Wenger’s transfer wish list. For me there are two stand out contenders for us to sign and we all know that Arsenal have got a lot of money to spend, just not whether the boss will actually use it.
Wenger clearly favours a centre back that is composed on the ball and possesses good technical ability as well as strong defensive skills and that is why I think either Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund or John Stones of Everton would fit the bill, but which would be the better option.
Hummels obviously has more experience and at a higher level having played almost 50 European club games and with about the same number of full international caps and two major tournaments to his name with Germany. On the other hand he would be harder to get, you feel, and with Guardiola going to Man City I can see Hummels signing for them.
Stones I feel would be possible to get for the Gunners, even though Chelsea are reported to be ready to try again, after failing in the last two transfer windows. Chelsea look like missing out on Europe altogether though and that should be a factor in the player’s decision.
Despite his inexperience, Stones could well turn out to be a fantastic player next season and could end up as one of the best in the world, so should Wenger do everything he can to make sure Stones fulfils his potential with Arsenal?
I’m probably going to be abused for this, but of the five or six times I’ve actually seen Stones play, he was the worst player on the pitch for me. I saw panic from him offensively and defensively. I do understand that he is young but I don’t think he’s special.
He’s better at using the ball than your average CB, but defensively? I agree over-rated.
We don’t have a problem with our Homegrown quota even if, i.e. Gibbs and Theo depart. If we are truly in the market for a CB, I don’t think the prem is where we should be looking…
I believe you. I have also seen some shocking play from Stones. But at other times he looks fantastic.
He is young and brash and willing to take chances on the pitch – not a great quality for a defender.
The question is………. Does his talent and maturity quickly take over or is his daring streak a permanent part of his game? I don’t know the answer to it.
Stones is very promising, but overrated at this point. He would be an investment for the future. Imagine him and Chambers coming good together in defense in 4-5 years!
Anyway, I think we should aim for someone like Van Dijk to replace Mertesacker. He is a beast in the air winning 73% of his headed duels per squawka and wins 65% of average duels including take ons and tackles. He is composed on the ball and actually pretty quick for his height 190cm (6’2″).
I would obviously like Hummels but it looks like he’ll go to Bayern. It’s worth remembering Hummels has performed better this season because he hasn’t been isolated and drawn out wide where he can’t defend as well. It saw him very exposed last season, which would be an issue at Arsenal no doubt.
We shouldn’t treat Gabriel as a partner for Koscielny, he is his successor and should be treated like that, hence the need for an intelligent and aerial dominant centre back.
The most important transfer
is to bring in a new manager.
It will cost 3 mill at most to get
someone like Ronald Koemann.
As for CB’s we do not need big name players like Stones or Hummels.
Leicesters two main CB.s cost 4 mill quid all up.
Their strikers , Vardy 1 million and Mahrez cost half a million.
Just bring in Koeman let him do the rest.
You are right david, New manager and let him manages the rest!
Arsenal need three top players to wear our number 7, 8 and 9 jerseys for next season. Even if Alexis should shift to number 7 then we still would need someone good enough to wear his current number 17 shirt.
Name a top team that does not have top players wearing those numbers and instilling some form of fear in the opposition?
And Ramsey will probably waste that jersey no. 8 after arteta.
Johan Djourou, and we dumped him somewhere at Bundesliga, haha…
I have been a big supporter of Mert. But it matters not if you have been an unwavering supporter of Mert or not. He is well past his prime and not able to carry a big club at CB as a starter.
Thus the only solution is finally find a solid CB – Hummels would be great.
I agree that Mertesacker should not be an unquestionable starter in the XI.
But what I’ve seen of Chambers and Gabriel this season has been far more worrying as they’ve taken a lot longer to adjust back into first-team football. Gabriel seems impervious to the harsh criticisms a lot of our other players receive. The stupid red card vs chelsea, being turned like an absolute chump by Ighalo, being menaced by Andy Carroll, letting Adeboyor run down the sideline unchallenged for 30 or so yards before he finally cut it back in a dangerous position to Bolasie. He loses out on far too many 50/50 balls that leave us in horrible, horrible positions when he should just stand off and make the higher percentage play. (oh and the Zaha 50/50 that left us 1v2, we got bailed out but could’ve easily lost to Palace at home)
I know I stand in the minority. But Mertesacker’s experience far outweighs any of our other CB’s. I wholeheartedly agree that we should be in the market for a CL, starting quality CB to partner Koscielny. But with that hypothetical inclusion Mertesacker is a better third choice than our younger, rawer CB’s if we’re gunning for consistent results IMO.
Yeah Gabriel’s not worked out. Sell & upgrade. Mertesacker would be a solid 3rd choice & experienced head in the dressing room.
NEITHER ! Hummels is too injury prone by our physio standards and Stones is grossly overrated for 50mil you could buy two world class foreign players if you search hard enough.
Marquinhos or Laporte are my choices
Varane?? Seems to be down the pecking order at Real Madrid, so could possibly be interested in leaving life as a benched squad player, to come and be a superstar at Arsenal?
I agree but you also need a bullying cb so how about someone like Shawcross who despite his previous would organise the back 4. He could be our John Terry. Put him alongside Verrane and there’s your perfect partnership imo.
I want a back-to-basics centre back who excels at defending first-&-foremost at Arsenal, that rules out Stones- he’s made his reputation by being very accomplished at dribbling the ball out of defence and playing it forward. Hummels is that kind of player but I can’t realistically see us spending that kind of money (circa £40M I’d guess) on a centre back of that age (little resale value). There are however a couple of young, very highly rated physical centre backs around who we might be able to get for that kind of fee- with their whole careers ahead of them. Jose Giminez at Athletico Madrid, one half of this season’s best central defensive pairing in Europe- hardly conceded any goals in La Liga or the Champions League this season. There’s also Daniele Rugani a Juventus owned player who has been amazing out on loan & before Juventus purchased him- with Empoli, but still hasn’t got his opportunity with any regularity at Juventus. I’d sooner we tried our luck with these two than went anywhere near the overrated Stones.
Between two, Hummels by a mile. Stones makes far too many mistakes, and I feel we need a real leader a the back, not another young prospect. That said, Hummels not only has fitness problems, which is a huge problem with us already, but he’s also likely going to Bayern. I’d go for Kamil Glik. A big, strong, imposing centre back with skill in the air and clear leadership qualities(Captains both Torino and Poland). He reminds me of Mertesacker, but not as slow as a snail and not afraid to make a tackle. He’s also far more realistic than Hummels.