Jesus Navas: Sevilla Winger Would Give Arsenal Added Insurance for Theo Walcott

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 22:  Jesus Navas of Sevilla FC kicks the ball during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Camp Nou on October 22, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Arsenal doesn't have a glaring hole on the wing, but they might before this year comes to a close. Appropriate measures must be taken to ensure that doesn't become a crippling problem.

Theo Walcott is entering the final year of his contract with the Gunners. He still hasn't signed a new deal, and Robin van Persie showed Arsene Wenger that you can never be sure what a player is thinking until the time comes.

Adding some insurance behind Walcott isn't a bad idea at this point. According to The Daily Mail, Wenger and the Gunner brass are considering doing just that:

"Arsenal could make their second Spanish swoop of the summer by launching a bid for Sevilla winger Jesus Navas."

The report also mentions that "The 26-year-old has a £35million buy-out clause but Sevilla are willing to accept a bid of around half that amount."

If that's the case, Wenger would be wise to take advantage.

At worst, Arsenal would have two talented players at their disposal. That's better than losing Walcott next summer, or earlier, and having no replacement ready to step up.

Navas is 26 years old and has enjoyed a solid career with La Liga's Sevilla. He's scored 23 goals in 248 appearances, and he's also made 21 appearances for Spain's national squad.

He's not an elite player, and he doesn't possess Walcott's upside, but he's a reliable option if talks with Walcott go south. Bringing Navas in now would ensure that he knows the offense and understands what Arsenal is trying to do.

There's no doubting Walcott's superb talent, but you can't be too careful in these situations. Good football teams have a strong starting lineup, but the best teams have a few dangerous players they can bring in off the bench.

Navas would be one of those super-subs, at least at first.

Wenger needs to think long and hard on this one. If Sevilla is truly ready to accept a fee that's half of his buyout clause, they should pull the trigger.

With Walcott's current contract situation and the Van Persie situation still fresh, the Gunners have to protect themselves.

Navas may be a step back from Walcott, but he's better than the next-best option that potentially includes having neither winger on their roster.

It's better to be safe than sorry.