Would Man United’s Chris Smalling improve Arsenal defence?

Arsenal have apparently enquired about the availability of Chris Smalling, but would he be an upgrade on our current options?

The Manchester United defender is believed to have been a target of ours prior to joining the Red Devils from Fulham back in 2010, and we have been linked with him on numerous occasions since.

We are currently claimed to be eyeing a deal to sign one of Smalling or former Red Devil Jonny Evans this month in order to bring stability to our shaky defence, but I’m not sure the former would bring much of an upgrade at all.

We have endured problems at the back this term, with main defender Laurent Koscielny struggling with injury, as well as Shkodran Mustafi also missing a number of matches, and the likes of Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Nacho Monreal and a 33 year-old Per Mertesacker have been left to fill the void.

We are now keen to add another defender to our ranks in order to bring stability and experience to our centre halve area, and while Smalling has more experience than the likes of Chambers and Holding, I’m not sure he would bring the stability needed.

Jose Mourinho is known for his defensive system, and ‘parking the bus’ is a term used for his style of play on a number of occasions, and I believe that is a strong reason why they have managed to keep from conceding heavily this term, and I’m not sure Smalling would suit our game, nor do I believe he would be the defender to form our defence around.

Would the United CB walk into our starting XI? Is he good enough to base our defence around for the next four years?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Evans Man United Smalling


  1. McLovin says:

    No he wouldn’t. Johnny Evans would be a decent signing, AT £3 MILLIONS.

    There are younger players available.

    In my opinion we need a new DM/CM with defensive qualities, ASAP.

    1. Midkemma says:

      What CDM player would you go for?

      I’m a fan of Carvalho but AMN makes me want AFC to get a Vieira type (def minded B2B) in their prime for AMN to learn from. AMN makes me think of Vieira with his style of play and I am eager to see him develop… but I know we can’t expect a lad to come in and do a perfect job without getting tired from having no rests.

      Gueye is the player that comes to mind for me.

  2. jermaine bryan says:

    Hell no why are we still thinking of improving rivals by taking dead weight we should sign de vrijl on a pre contract from lazio. He is similar level to Vergil v d and is one of the top 5 Seria cb

    Even if we get him in January he will be cheaper than Johnny boy

  3. gotanidea says:

    If Smalling joins, he could start ahead Koscielny, but he would not fix the defending problem. We have seen how the most expensive central defender ever, Van Dijk, made a mistake that eventually made Liverpool lost to Swansea.

    As what Carragher said before (liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/its-nonsense-think-virgil-van-14190348):

    “But this thing about Van Dijk coming in and fixing the problems, I’ve said from day one, it’s absolute nonsense that one player comes in and fixes the whole thing. He’s not that good! He’s obviously a good centre back because they’ve paid a lot of money for him, but the idea that one player solves it all…he’s only one player.”

    The grave problem comes from how Arsenal are playing in more than a decade under Wenger. If Wenger’s obsolete system is still being used, maybe Arsenal would never get another major trophy, even though they have expensive players like Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Xhaka, Mustafi, Kolasinac, etc.

  4. Phil says:

    Why are we looking at Smalling?Lets get Auba over the line first and then address CB and CDM positions.If it means waiting until the end of the season to get Top Top quality then we will have to get through till then with what we have got.Its far better to identify the players who will improve us and get them in than to bring in makeshift’s for the sake of it.

  5. Atid says:

    Best back 4 bellerin mustafi Kos Monreal
    Best back 3 kos mustafi Monreal

    So basically would smalling get in ahead of any of them if everyone was fit? I think not so we are then pitting him in with chambers holding Mertesacker Debuchy and Mavropanos.

    If the club have decided to sell Debuchy and Mertesacker is retiring this window instead of the summer, then I would say we might have a need for smelling. But my own opinion is, unless we are bringing a world class player. I would rather stick with the youngsters we have. Don’t forget there is also Bielik and sheaf

    1. Phil says:

      Totally agree with this.Plus the new Greek lad who we hope is a prospect for the future but NOT at the expense of us buying proven Quality.

    2. Midkemma says:

      “If the club have decided to sell Debuchy and Mertesacker is retiring this window instead of the summer, then I would say we might have a need for smelling.”

      I would say Evans more than Smalling.
      Better age for allowing Chambers, Holding, Mavrop, Bielik to see past and believe they could be a starter in a couple years time. Not look to move away to get 1st team action in the near future…

  6. Sue says:

    Chris bloody Smalling???? Are you having a laugh???

  7. ThirdManJW says:

    No more rejects from our rivals please, it’s damaging to the reputation of Arsenal.

  8. Jelloud says:

    Many thinks that our defensive is not as good as other teams, yes overall it might seems so but tactically the pattern of our system we use to play results our defensive to look shaky at times.

    We dont have natural CDM who operates in front of our defensive like kante or Matic. Our Xhaka is much more CM than CDM that preferable position is to link and distribute balls from Defense to Offense players. He got caught several times if we play teams with high press because he offer less protection to our defense.

    I doubt that we may still concedes many goals even if we takes smalling or even evans. My opinion we need a CDM with Kante calibre.

    1. Midkemma says:

      If we could find a CDM in his peak years then that would be wonderful, someone for AMN to learn from but not be an obstacle in his career path, Kante would have been ideal. I also think that his would be the way to get the best out of Xhaka, he is a deep lying playmaker and not DM as you said, he needs a DM alongside him… Well, Alongside Wilshere 😛 Xhaka should be competition for Wilshere and a way to manage Wilshere fitness.

      I would like to see us revert back to the 4231 formation with Ozil dropping deeper at times to make a 433.

      Wilshere(Xhaka)/Vieira Type(AMN)

      Without changes to the CBs, I do feel that could see us buffer the def a LOT more than using Xhaka as the DM while allowing the midfield to provide opportunities for the attackers… along with attackers providing opportunities for attackers 😛

  9. jon fox says:

    I don’t rate Evans or Smalling in the slightest and nor I suspect do most Gooners. Therefore expect us to sign one of them, probably Evans. Personally, I would not let Wenger waste another penny on his many sub standard signings and merely wait til his inevitable sacking, probably in May, when we finish a distant sixth place and no cup trophies either. A small price to pay for cleansing the club of him.

  10. Midkemma says:

    No and No.

    IF we are to show ambition without being reckless then I would hope a rebuild of the attack for the rest of this season with a CB reinforcement.

    Evans for £23 is what I am reading, get him. I’m not a fan of Evans but he can do the job, he ticks the boxes and he gives us time while trying to fight for a top 4 spot at the end of this season.

    In the summer look for a top DM and if Mustafi wants to leave then replace him with a top CB, Koulibaly?

    CB choices next season: Kos, Mustafi(Kou?), Evans, Chambers, Mavrop… (Holding on loan with recall option)

    That I feel would be competitive next season if they had a beast of a DM infront of them, assuming we revert to a back 4. Not perfect but trying to be realistic with AFC… They will not rebuild a squad in 2 years.

    I do feel we have some good players and if they see change happen now with ambitions followed up with a top DM signing in the summer then it would lift the players, they will see AFC replacing people who are comfortable and they could step up to higher levels.

  11. Grandad says:

    In a word no.Maguire and Tarkowski yes.


    NO! We need a new Defensive coach, New training to defend as a unit.

  13. Maks says:

    We don’t need players from ManUtd!

  14. GoonAR says:

    To be honest I’ve never rated Smalling. I agree with Midkemma about Evans.

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