Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Should Move for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in January

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21:  Mapou Yanga-mbiwa of Montpellier clashes with Mikel Arteta of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Arsenal FC and Montpellier Herault SC at Emirates Stadium on November 21, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Let's just believe that Arsene Wenger will be spending some money in January.

The Frenchman is notoriously frugal during the transfer window, rarely deciding to address what have been a multitude of issues for Arsenal over the years.

The back four has been a target of criticism on and off in recent years. Assistant manager Steve Bould has received some credit for an improvement in defense and rightfully so.

Arsenal has only conceded 22 goals this year, fourth in the Premier League.

While the back four has been solid, Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is a strong target this month for the club.

Dave Kidd of the Daily Mirror is reporting that the Gunners could be looking at a move this January. Yanga-Mbiwa was being tracked by the club during the summer as well, so it's not as if Arsenal hasn't done their due diligence on the defender.

If the club were to make a move, now is the time.

At only 23 years old, Yanga-Mbiwa has yet to enter his prime as it's still about three or four years away. He could solidify the Gunners defense for the long term.

Montpellier are no longer in the Champions League and are too far back in the Ligue 1 table to look like they will be qualifying for European football next season.

Yanga-Mbiwa would have probably cost around £7-10 million during last summer. Now his value is probably half that.

With the World Cup coming up in 2014, he's not going to want to stick around Montpellier forever if they're outside of the Champions League.

The club shouldn't be scared off by his statements that he wants to play for Manchester United (via the Daily Mail).

If every player got his way, Barcelona and Real Madrid's squad size would number in the hundreds.

Tactically, Yanga-Mbiwa would fit Arsenal's system very well. He could start attacking movements at the back. His ball skills are high for a defender.

Yanga-Mbiwa also has the pace to keep up with Premier League attackers, which is the problem with Gunners centre-back Per Mertesacker at times.

Although he isn't the most physically imposing defender, Yanga-Mbiwa has enough strength and physicality to not be bullied around.

If the club doesn't want to use him in the back four, it could deploy him in more of a midfield position. Yanga-Mbiwa has the kind of game that could make that adjustment.

He could be a little like Alex Song, except without the attacking runs that would cause him to be out of position on the counter.

Should the worst-case scenario happen and Bacary Sagna moves away from the Emirates, Yanga-Mbiwa has experience at right-back.

It appears that the player would be a sensible signing. Now it's just up to Wenger to spend some of the transfer money that he's been hoarding for all these seasons.