Talksport is reporting that Arsenal has sent scouts to France to watch Toulouse defender Aymen Abdennour. Arsenal scouts in France are nothing new, and it would surprise no one to hear Arsene Wenger is exploring all options to supplement his defense.
Tunisian international Abdennour is not a household name, but has a growing reputation as a solid defender since arriving in France in 2011. Talksport also mentions PSG and Barcelona as potential suitors for the 23-year-old.
Abdennour plays as a left back, but can comfortably slot into the left wing if needed. With his height and strength, Abdennour is good in the air, has good speed and reads the game well. He would be able to provide Arsenal with a solid alternative to the inconsistent Vermaelen and the oft-injured Gibbs.
With all the rumor attention centered on Abdennour, it is not a stretch to believe that Arsenal scouts were also looking at Toulouse youngster Serge Aurier. The 19-year-old Ivorian has claimed the right back position for Toulouse, but is versatile enough to play left back or either wing positions in the midfield.
Aurier's strength and pace has seen him likened to current Gunner Bacary Sagna. Arsene Wenger is known for his affection for developing young talent. Aurier is a youngster with a high ceiling. Bringing him into the fold now would allow him to learn from Sagna, but would not provide the type of immediate depth Arsenal currently need in defense.
Having Aurier along with Jenkinson would give Arsenal a nice pairing of defensive backs for the future. Gunner fans are growing tired of future talk, and Arsenal management are well aware of that. Abdennour gives them more impact immediately, but do not be surprised if Wenger bypasses the defenders in an attempt to pry star defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue from Toulouse.
Gunner fans would be ecstatic with the addition of Capoue, who would give the Gunners a true defensive midfielder capable of protecting the back four. Do not be surprised to see rumors connecting Arsenal to Toulouse continue to surface between now and the close of the winter transfer season.