Arsene Wenger has outlined West Ham’s Winston Reid as a possible addition to his squad in January.
According to David Kent of the Daily Mail, the Gunners boss has given up on Ashley Williams—who is rated at £10 million by Swansea City—and will turn his attention to the Hammers’ improving centre-back:
Arsene Wenger is lining up a £6million January bid for West Ham defender Winston Reid.
Reid's age and eligibility to play in the Champions League make him an attractive proposition for the Gunners, who hope to tempt West Ham with a £6m bid.
Kent’s report suggests Wenger has been keeping tabs on the 25-year-old since 2012. Reid, who arrived from Danish club Midtjylland in 2010, is playing excellently after initially struggling to settle in England.
He currently averages 2.7 tackles each game, per Who Scored, and has contributed an average of 8.6 clearances through each match for Sam Allardyce’s defence. West Ham have conceded eight goals in nine games with Reid emerging as an important figure throughout the campaign’s early stages.
Most memorably, Reid was part of the New Zealand side who escaped the 2010 World Cup as the only unbeaten team in the tournament. He even secured a point for the Oceanic outfit by heading an injury-time leveller in the group stage draw with Slovakia, per BBC News.
Wenger’s reported interest doesn’t come as a surprise. The Arsenal boss has been on the lookout for a powerful central defender for some time, and saw his summer attempts to land Williams quashed by Michael Laudrup, as reported by Harry Pratt of the Daily Star.
The North London club have lost just one game this campaign, with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker becoming stalwarts in the heart of defence. The duo’s relationship—which helped Arsenal to recover from the Tottenham loss near the conclusion of last season—continue to prop the Gunners up with a solid base.
Thomas Vermaelen provides the pair’s only competition for places. The Belgian defender has barely appeared since his failings in the aforementioned White Hart Lane match and recently hinted he could leave the Emirates to further his World Cup ambitions, per Ben Burrows of the Daily Star.
Another dominant centre-back is certainly needed at Arsenal.
Should Koscielny or Mertesacker face a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Wenger’s team would struggle to cope with the strenuous schedule of competing in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.