Arsene Wenger's primary concern in the remaining weeks of the transfer window rests with shoring up his defensive options, with latest speculation revealing that William Carvalho and Benedikt Howedes are priority signings for the Frenchman.
A 3-0 win over Manchester City in Sunday's Community Shield fixture cast a glowing light on Arsenal's current crop, but The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson claims Carvalho and Howedes are among a three-man shortlist for Wenger.
Sporting Lisbon's Carvalho has been a constant source of Arsenal speculation this summer, whereas Schalke captain Howedes is a new face to the gossip headlines around the Emirates.
Wilson claims Wolfsburg and Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo also numbers among Wenger's transfer targets, but his recent comments to German outlet Wolfsburger Nachrichten (h/t Daily Star's Chisanga Malata) suggest a move is off the table:
I am back in training and I want to play on for Wolfsburg to help the team succeed. We are to be involved in three club competitions this season and we want to be among the best in all of them.
Howedes displayed his versatility as part of the German defence that won this summer's World Cup, giving a fine account of his ability in an unnatural left-back role.
Metro writer Lee Hurley supports a move for the defender and, in the wake of Thomas Vermaelen's exit to Barcelona, states Wenger's desire to sign the 26-year-old is well-placed:
If in doubt go for a German! Arsenal’s move for Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes makes sense - Me for Metro - http://t.co/NpJCmBqehP— Lee Hurley (@HLeeHurley) August 12, 2014
The Gunners already have a thriving German contingent in Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski, Serge Gnabry and Gedion Zelalem, making for an easier transition should Howedes consider the switch.
Which position is a bigger concern for Wenger?
Some might see the central midfield area as a more pressing concern for the club, however, particularly in a defensive regard, where Carvalho could be seen as the man to ultimately replace Mikel Arteta.
Wilson suggests that he—as well as the seemingly unlikely Gustavo—could adapt to play in the centre of defence under Wenger.
Last week, Sky Sports' Pete O'Rourke did cite Sporting in stating that Arsenal have yet to make their move for the 22-year-old:
With Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers accounting for £60 million of the Gunners' spending this summer, there may not be too much more movement to expect from Wenger.
Despite Arsenal's shift toward a club more happy to spend in large sums, the manager remains frugal when it comes to necessity within his squad.
That being said, the idea of a player who can cover at both deep-lying midfield and centre-back makes sense right now, completing what looks an incredibly strong Arsenal squad ahead of the 2014-15 campaign.