Would Arsenal ever pay £60m for a defender

Arsenal fans are very well aware that our defence has been rubbish this year, but we failed to bring any reinforcements in January, with Wenger saying that the highly experienced West Brom captain Jonny Evans was just too expensive. But Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp had the same problems with his defence and immediately solved the problem by laying out an incredible £75m for Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.

Most of us were pretty happy that the Gunners brought in two superstrikers at a cost of over £50m each, but according to Thierry Henry, it is very unlikely that Wenger would be willing to pay that much for a much-needed centre-back. “It seems like people always say that he does not want to spend big,” Henry said.

“He will always think that some of the players are not worth the price that you put on a table.

“But it is a new era, you have to put at least, if you want someone good, £60m, £70m, whatever the position is.

“I think he finds that really difficult.

“He does it easy for a striker, or a creative player, but for defenders, he probably thinks ‘that might be a lot’.

“We are obviously speculating, but it is a weird one that is difficult to pinpoint, because in some games they can show us that they can do it.”

Arsenal obviously think that defenders can be bought cheaply, as Mavropolas only cost us 2m this summer, and Rob Holding cost the same amount a couple of years back, but can we keep hoping that we get a rough diamond that can take te Premiership by storm, or should we just pay the asking prices to bring in a ready-made star defender?



  1. McLovin says:

    LOL, Mavropanos was too good to go out loan but yet can’t feature ahead of our underperforming CB’s Koscielny or Mustafi (although the latter one has played quite well since his horror show against United.

  2. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    For me the question is if a £60m defender would want to come to arsenal? It’s a poorly set up team with a keeper that is past his best and full backs that think they are Messi and a DM that specialises in long range shots that end up in row Z. It would be career suicide for a top defender to come to arsenal.

  3. McLovin says:

    Wenger is all about quality defenders:

    Cygan, Silvestre, Andre Santos, Djorou, Senderos, Gallas in exhange for the best LB in PL…

    1. Mobella says:

      you should explain to us what you think Wenger can do with good defenders before you slag off those players. These are people who not know other jobs than football. For you to say they are not good enough is disrespectful when you are not in the job yourself.

      1. McLovin says:

        I think Wenger can turn good defenders into bad ones.

        I also believe Wenger thinks he is the Professor and can make good players out of average or below average ones., albeit for every Koscielny there has always been 5 Squillaci’s.

        I also also believe Wenger sees something in players no one else does, even when those players are plain and simple, atrocious to play at the highest level.

        1. Phil says:

          Impossible to argue with this comment.

        2. Mobella says:

          You are saying in simplicity he is the problem. That i can’t argue with. That is why i believe we are good not only in terms of number but also in quality defensively. We concede goals, in fact cheap goals, but we need to look at the blocks, interception and recovery tackles Kos and Mustafi make per match. The numbers are high and that is because Wenger doesn’t give a fuck about defending. How many of goals did we concede that are fullbacks and wingback are not close to our defence. Wenger defends with two defenders every match, putting so much pressure on those two defenders and it is not coincidence those two defenders make errors every match. Those defenders are our two central defenders. Kos, mustafi, Per, Holding, Moreal and Chambers all have play centrally this season and all had made mistake.

        3. jon fox says:

          So damningly, devastatingly, and horribly TRUE! Damn it! Sod off Wenger!

  4. Innit says:

    Its not necessary. Leicester didn’t have world class defenders when they won the premier league.

    The Van Dijk purchase was idiotic imo. Far too much. However, Wenger not signing Van Dijk from Celtic for a fraction of the price was almost as bad. When he was at Celtic i remember We were begging Wenger to sign him

    We need solid, reliable consistent centre backs who work well with goalkeeper and midfielders and who are not too old or too inexperienced.
    Mert is retiring.
    Kosc is old now and decreasing in quality (he was world class in my opinion)
    Holding, Chambers and Mavrapanos are too young/inexperienced
    Mustafi is decent but not worth £35 mil in my opinion. Im still happy with him generally
    Bellerin im not sure off. But he needs competition. Debuchy will prob leave
    Kolsanic and Monreal are excellent LBs . No problem at LB position innit.

    So somebody like Evans won’t suffice as he is too old. Someone in early 20s hasnt got enough experience. Someone of better quality than Mustafi. I would like Mustafi as a back up who can compete for starter.

    So ideally we need two sold CBs and 1 RB in my opinion. Who are in their mid 20s. They should have both experience and Quality. Ideally Premier league experience

    1. Innit says:

      Sorry i didnt answer the question lol

      1st Its Wenger
      2. Wenger rarely spends big on defensive players. Mustafi is an exception but was he worth £35 mil. Xhaka isn’t a defensive midfielder or not good enough and certainly not worth the same amount
      3. As i said earlier…I HOPE WE DON’T SPEND OVER 60 mil. Because its a waste of money. Its not necessary
      Wenger made a good signing with Kolsanic who was free and Holding for £2 million
      But i would say no more than £35-40 million

      1. nosa says:

        then don’t expect us to win the EPL,until we start buying players like walker for 50m we will remain average,d most important players are fightback,left back,DM, and creative midfielder, the league now is too competitive pls let’s stop leaving in the past,u can’t win d league with holding,mert, kosieny,chambers, we have lost it

    2. McLovin says:

      I also remember when we were linked with Manolas but £10 millions was too much for Wenger at the time. He only went on to become one of the best CB’s in Europe.

  5. Sue says:

    I seriously doubt It!

  6. Gelz says:

    De Vrij is out of contract in the summer so poss a decent mid 20s defender for freeish (signing on fee) a Wenger bargain. Would he come tho anyone’s guess. Good defenders or even world class don’t cost 60 mill , Liverpool overpaid for VVD but had the money through the Countinho sale. I believe any new manager we will get when Wenger leaves will understand the values of having a good defence and will sort through acusisions or defensive coaching, something we are lacking with.

    1. nosa says:

      why must we be looking for players on free transfer or out of contract, arsenal isn’t a small club,is it your money? are you going to get a pounds from the money that was not spent,until we put trophies above money ,we aren’t wining the league, I laugh at fan who say we bought this guy for 5m and sold him for 50m,I need trophies EPL UCL, not money because it not my money,glory glory days is what I want,,,I want to tell my children we won 20 EPL and I withnesesed 13,not we bought giroud for 2m and sold him for 50m ,nobody remembers that,pls let’s grow up

  7. Midkemma says:

    Wenger isn’t the one who says yes or no to a price, that is Gazidis.
    We have seen Gazidis act upon Sven recommendation at a faster rate than Wengers recommendations, look how many seasons it took to get LAca compared to Auba when Sven came in.

    TH14 needs to be reminded of what HE said, Dein was the one who got transfers done when he arrived and since he left, he doesn’t know. HE DOESN’T KNOW!

    Now he is saying Wenger will not spend on a CB?????

    It is so simple.

    If Sven can convince Gazidis that a CB is worth the money then watch Gazidis put in bids for the CB.

    People was saying Wenger wouldn’t spend big at all… Then we got players like Ozil, Alexis, Lacazette… all of which was Wengers targets. Still people said Wenger doesn’t like to spend.

    Wenger is a bad manager but transfers is Gazidis area.

    1. Phil says:

      Yeah Sven and Ivan G have certainly began the “Catalyst For Change” that Gazidis promised.Lets make sure Wenger knows who is in charge of this football club and it isn’t him.

  8. Phil says:

    What Top Quality £60m plus rated defender would want to play for Arsenal?Quite a few I would imagine.What Top Quality £60m rated defender would wish to sacrifice his career and reputation to play for Arsene Wenger?NONE WITH ANY SENSE

  9. Ozzy AFC says:

    would wenger spend that sort of money on a defender ??? nahh he has’nt spent that sort of money on a a striker, But Sven Mislintat may do come the summer, Control of the transfer policy has been gradually being wrested from Wengers tight little grip, but rome wasnt built in a day and the board are still in the tail end of Wenger mode.
    Wenger would NEVER have signed Aubamayang not in a million years. i suspect that gazidiz is moving into a post Wenger mindset and laying down plans for when the old fraud has gone.

  10. GB says:

    Wenger has nowt to do with buying players anymore. Obviously he may have some input but nothing to do with price, so yes, the club would pay that much for a defender. OT but I’m hearing Thursday’s game is on a plastic pitch at -20c !

    1. stubill says:

      I’ve seen -5 for Thursday there, and it is an artificial pitch, not surprising inside the Arctic Circle lol.

  11. Sven says:

    If you think Klopp ‘solved’ their defensive problems by overpaying for VanDijk, you should probably consider not writing about football…

  12. Lugdush says:

    We dont need an expensive defender but a wc one, what is not the same, like our rivals on epl had shown to everybody…as we had shown that an expensive manager is not the same as a good one…i have faitg in sven to find the proper def…what we need now are proper tactics and a manager who cares about train defenders, and not only attackers

  13. Ackshay says:

    Price tag does not equate to quality, i would care less if wenger brought a defender from an unknown part of the world at 1 pound as long as he is a good for our team. monreal was a cheap buy at 8.5m and has played better than 35m mustafi since they play together. Kompany and vidic were the bargains of the century and they are as good or better than record-buy ferdinand.

    The real question is does wenger know what a good defender is ? His track record isnt very promising except for kos and monreal. I still hate the fact that vertonghen choose spurs because he had a better chance of playing. Imagine a peak Vermaelen and vertonghen at the base of our defense with the likes of fab and van persie infront, would have surely won 1 league title in the seasons where our weak defense let us down.

  14. jon fox says:

    The simple fact that is obvious even to a blind person, is that Wenger has zero idea how to set up any defence. He just doesn’t even understand the need or concept of a team defending properly. This is way beyond sensible dispute and we have a decade and more evidence to back up what I say. Since ALL successful teams need a proper defence and Wenger is totally incapable, what do you think a properly run club would do with this manager? Sack him; renew his contract or let his contract run to its end at end of next season? Personally, I think the tipping point has beeen reached EVEN WITH THIS regime. I am 90% certain Wenger WILL be sacked by MAY. We are clearly going to be ten or more points from top four and about forty plus behind City. To have a chance of staying and ward off huge fan protests , round the corner shortly, Wenger would have to beat City in the League Cup and also get at least an honourable draw in the Prem. Unless you are the pitiably naive TY from Arsenal Fan TV or have recently been committed for mental problems, you cannot possibly think this team will win the League Cup or acquit themselves well in the City league game. You may , however, hope, give us an outside chance, hope for a ref in our favour etc etc. But what you CANNOT DO is to believe in your heart we will win these games. I do not either and THUS I am almost convinced the manager will be sacked by May, or hopefully before.

  15. Yossarian says:

    Once-upon-a-time you could get a top quality striker for a few million. Now it costs several tens-of-millions. So if you have to pay £60 million for a defender to get a title-challenging team, then that’s what Arsenal need to do. You pay what the market says you have to pay.

    After all, the fans don’t have the luxury of saying “The ticket prices are too high, I think I’ll go to the games for a quarter of the asking price” or “The merchandise is too expensive, I’ll just pay half the retail price”

  16. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

    Bring back George Graham; all is forgiven, even managing Spurs!

  17. Chris says:

    The problem is, and has consistently been for all top teams, that there aren’t actually many top class defenders at all. Defence is more about team structure than about individual prowess. Van Djik hasn’t suddenly become the best defender ever – he’s looked shakey as all hell in half the games I’ve watched. Sanchez and Aurier aren’t stunning world beaters for Spurs. Man United have an up and down back 4 who can ship goals any time. Chelsea are pulled along by Hazard and have no real cohesion at the back at all. City are rarely challenged due to high ball control but even their defence has holes that can be exploited.

    That’s not to say good defenders don’t make a difference. They do. But our biggest problem comes in our tactical handling of defence and attack. It has done for a long time. Since the days of us being a counter team (that’s when we were at our best in the golden Wenger years – teams hadn’t really developed parking the bus consistently yet) our defence has always had space behind it and in front to exploit. Gilberto (not Vieira) used to hide in the front pockets and scoop everything up. Coquelin did this a few seasons ago with relative success alongside Cazorla. The game has moved on since Gilberto though and now you regularly have number 10s vying for that space and a CM behind him waiting to latch onto anything that comes loose. What am I suggesting? Defence isn’t one position but all positions.

    We need a strong DM who is gonna act as a DM in our formation. Xhaka and Elneny ATTEMPT to do this, but their mind is not set on the defensive graft. They do it, but it’s not their priority. It has to be. They are looking to get on the front foot when they don’t need to – they need to be on the back foot ready to deal with the danger instead. Turnover ball is the single most important part of the game but your DM shouldn’t be the guy looking to turn that into an offensive situation – he should be looking to cut the danger out of an instant reversal. He should be constantly making sure the danger has passed and IF he is involved with the ball he should be looking for fast offloads to get the ball moving, not playing as a deep lying playmaker for which we’d require a different defensive and offensive structure.

    Equally, alongside the DM we need a mobile CM who will win the ball back and act as a pivot. Jack can do this. Ramsey slightly less so, but he could do it much more ably if he had a strong DM behind him. This isn’t really our problem position but the role is important. As the pivot, this player has to change attack into defence and defence into attack. At the moment, you’ll see any one of our midfield or attack pressing the ball – I’ve seen Xhaka up with the striker when he is in DM. The CM should usually be the first port of call for a press, once he is in position everyone else should be and can start it. The striker might press first, or the wingers, but the concerted press should begin once the CM is in position (DM should not be out of position on turn over). We don’t do that at all and it usually leaves a gap right where the CM should be for the opposition to turn and conduct play. You watch the goals we concede a large number come from this gap – you’ll see one of our players having to sprint back quick to try and close gaps or put on pressure but the opposition get too much time.

    So the solution? A DM. As always. But also it needs to be a tactical shift to pressing as a unit and sensibly. Our defence as players are adequate – it is our team as a unit that isn’t. Against Spurs in the first half they barely got a sniff because they couldn’t get Erikson on the ball. That changed as we got pulled in the middle. Their goal (and pretty much every attack) came from turnover (usually from Ozil or Mustafi doing something poor) and the only solution to this is better team cohesion for turnover or we’ll just keep leaving the big gaps to exploit

  18. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

    Chris, congratulations on an excellent analysis of Arsenal’s defensive issues.

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