Arsenal Transfer Rumors: 13 Defenders They're Targeting for the Summer
The Gunners enjoyed an emphatic victory against Blackburn, scoring seven goals in their biggest win of the season. They have been inconsistent this year and have dropped many points, which is why they are currently in sixth place.
However, they are only three points behind fourth-place Chelsea. Arsenal's defense has had some very consistent players like Laurent Koscielny but on the whole, they do not look solid, letting in many goals this season.
Arsene Wenger signed defenders Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos this summer, just before the close of the transfer window. Santos has been injured for some time now after having an inconsistent start to his Arsenal career, while Mertesacker needs to further come to terms with the pace and physicality of the league. The good thing is that there have been encouraging signs from the German and he has looked more assured in recent weeks.
However, Sebastien Squillaci has looked out of depth for Arsenal in the Premiership and could be offloaded in the summer while Johan Djourou has also been very inconsistent. With Kieran Gibbs also injury prone, the Gunners' manager could target another defender in the summer.
Scott Dann (Blackburn)
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However, he could be interested in a move away in the summer especially if they do get relegated this season. The Gunners might sell some defenders like Squillaci and could look to add another solid defender in the summer.
The centre back has not been at his best for Blackburn this season, but was quite good for Birmingham in the previous couple of campaigns. He has been linked with top clubs and if an opportunity does arise, he could be open for a move at this stage in his career.
It could be a decent deal for the Gunners if available at the right price because he would provide good depth and would not take much time to adjust to a new club.
Raul Albiol (Real Madrid)
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Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol has been linked with Arsenal and some other clubs in the past and it could be a smart move by Wenger to sign the out-of-favor defender. He has not received enough playing time at Madrid, which is why he could be open to a switch to another club in the next summer. Albiol is quite talented but with many good centre backs at Madrid, he has not started enough games this season.
He is still quite young and could benefit from moving to another club in the next summer. Arsenal could be interested in him if they can offload Squillaci, in particular, and Albiol could be a good addition to the side. He is clearly talented but will take time to adjust to the demands of the Premiership. However, he has the ability to be a top player for the Gunners and could be available at a relatively lower price for the Gunners.
Christopher Samba (Blackburn)
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Christopher Samba was linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer, but the Gunners did not sign him and signed Mertesacker to bring more solidity to the backline.
Mertesacker has been a good signing for Arsenal and has brought more organization, but a player like Samba could really help them in dealing with set-pieces and aerial balls.
Also, he could also provide a good goal-scoring threat for Arsenal on set-pieces which they lack to some extent. He did want to leave the club in January and if a club like Arsenal did make an offer, he is bound to consider the option. If he is available for the right price, then it could be an astute signing for the Gunners.
Mamadou Sakho (Paris St. Germain)
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Mamadou Sakho was another defender who has been linked with a move to the Emirates in the past but has continued to stay with Paris St. Germain. Though he is quite young, he has already shown great leadership qualities and could be a superb signing for almost any team in the world. Sakho has excellent physical attributes which will help him cope with the physicality of the Premiership and has good understanding of the game.
He has the quality to be a very good centre back in the future and could be an excellent signing for Arsenal.
However, PSG is unlikely to let him leave as they are in the midst of a very ambitious project and manager Carlo Ancelotti will try his best to convince him to stay with the club.
Jan Vertonghen (Ajax)
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Jan Vertonghen could be a very good addition to the Gunners’ backline and has been linked with the Gunners in the past. The Belgian centre back has been likened to his compatriot Thomas Vermaelen for his style of play and Vertonghen has the quality to be a top class defender for a top Premiership club. He has shown good leadership skills at Ajax and could be a very good addition to the team.
Vertonghen can also play as a left back or as a defensive midfielder and his versatility could provide Arsenal more quality depth in these positions. He could be a very good addition to this Gunners’ side and it would be an astute move by Wenger if he can offload Squillaci and sign the Ajax defender for the right price.
Adrian Mariappa (Watford)
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Watford defender Adrian Mariappa was linked with a move to the Emirates towards the end of the transfer window, but the defender continued to stay with his club despite attracting interest from other Premiership clubs as well. Newcastle were also reported to be interested in the defender who has been solid for the team this season.
However, he is still at Watford and could be targeted again by Arsenal, who could look to add more quality depth to the team. They could possibly offload Squillaci and/or Djourou and Mariappa could be useful as a squad player for the side. He will not cost much for the Gunners and it could be a decent signing for the club.
Aly Cissokho (Lyon)
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Arsenal have been linked with left backs in this January transfer window due to the injuries to Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos.
One of the most notable left backs linked was Lyon’s Aly Cissokho.
However, Wenger decided to keep faith in Gibbs’ returning from injury and has played Vermaelen at left back in order to bring solidity to the backline.
With Gibbs proving to be very injury-prone, Wenger could invest in the transfer market to sign a left back who could be integral in the next few seasons. Cissokho could be a good addition to the side. The Lyon defender has the experience and the physicality to adjust to the Premiership and could be a good signing for the Gunners.
Neven Subotic (Borussia Dortmund)
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Arsenal has been linked with a move for Borussia Dortund’s Neven Subotic in the past and it could be a superb move for the Gunners if they can sign the young centre back. The Serbian is excellent in the air and shows confidence when it comes to making interceptions and tackles and would certainly improve the current quality of Arsenal’s backline.
Subotic has the physicality which will help him cope with the Premiership and if Arsenal do manage to sell Squillaci, his additon would make sense because he could help them remain more stable at the back.
Arsenal have conceded some soft goals this season and Subotic could be a player who could bring more dominance and authority to the defense.
Kieran Richardson (Sunderland)
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Kieran Richardson was one of the many players who were linked with a move to the Emirates in this January transfer window, but he did stay at Sunderland and will be there the end of the season. He is very versatile and has played a number of positions for his club, including left back, on a lot of occasions. He can play in a number of positions which provides more depth to the team.
It would be a surprise still if Wenger signs him in the summer, but there have been some unexpected signings in the past and Richardson could be targeted by the Gunners. With Gibbs also capable of playing on the flanks as a midfielder, Richardson could slot in at left back where they have had problems this season and it could be a decent move by Wenger if they do sign him.
Phil Jagielka (Everton)
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Phil Jagielka was linked with a move to the Emirates in the last summer but Wenger decided to sign Mertesacker. Though the tall German has done a decent job, the manager could look to sign another centre back because of the inconsistent performances of Djourou and the out-of-favor Squillaci.
The Everton centre back has been one of the most reliable and consistent defenders in the Premiership. He can also play at right back or as a defensive midfielder which will add depth to the team.
However, he is an integral player for the Merseyside club and should Arsenal fail to secure Champions League qualification, it further reduces Arsenal’s chances of signing him.
Luke Shaw (Southampton)
Wenger has signed several talented youngsters who have gone on to become established players for the Gunners. He is one of the best managers when it comes to developing youngsters, which is why Arsenal is a club which attracts the best up-and-comers to the club.
The 16-year-old defender has a long way to go before he can establish himself in the first team but he has shown his quality in some of the games that he has played for the youth side. Wenger could sign the youngster for a nominal fee and it could be a good signing, considering that he is quite talented and could make the first team within the next two to three years.
Bruno Uvini (Sao Paulo)
Sao Paulo defender Bruno Uvini has been linked with Premiership clubs Arsenal and Tottenham and could be targeted by the clubs for a summer move. Uvini has made good strides at Sao Paulo and is also the captain of the Brazil U-20 team which shows his leadership and talent. Italian side Genoa have also shown interest in the centre back and could make a move for him in the summer.
It will be difficult for the Gunners to sign him but they do have a decent relationship with the Brazilian club having loaned them Denilson in the last summer. Also, Wenger is one of the best when it comes to developing youngsters, a possible factor that could influence the Brazilian defender when he considers his future.
Brede Hangeland (Fulham)
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Fulham defender Brede Hangeland has been linked with a move to Arsenal in the past, but not very recently. However, the Fulham centre back could be a player who could be targeted yet again by the Gunners to provide solidity to the backline. The tall central defender is very experienced in the Premiership and could be an astute addition for the Gunners.
Fulham manager Martin Jol will be reluctant to sell the centre back but if Arsenal does provide good money to sign the defender, then there is a chance that they could sell. Also, if Arsenal does finish in the Champions League, there could be a better chance to attract Hangeland, one of the players who could strengthen their backline for sure.