Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is set to diminish his defensive woes and immensely strengthen the Gunners title challenges by signing one of the best young defenders in Europe, Mamadou Sakho. The Paris Saint-Germain defender has been on Wenger's radar for some time and with a decreasing number of fit centre halves at the Emirates, the Frenchman is set to make a £12 million bid for the 20-year-old.
Since August, Wenger has been without defensive leader Thomas Vermaelen due to a persistent Achilles injury. With the Gunners only boast four renown centre halves, Arsenal have endured much of the season with only three central defenders to call on.
French duo Sebastien Squillaci and Laurent Koscienly, who both arrived in the summer from Seville and Lorient FC respectively, have been the main centre half pairing. Imposing Swiss Johan Djourou returned from a serious knee injury that saw the 23-year-old miss the whole 2009/2010 bar the last EPL encounter. Djourou has returned gallantly, but due to the severity of his injury, Wenger has been tentative to utilize the Swiss on a consistent basis.
However since December, Djourou has maintained peak fitness and has been integral in Arsenal recent winning form of unbeaten in six Premier League matches. However Sebastien Squillaci has not featured since early January due to a hamstring injury, forcing Wenger to retract comments made earlier in the campaign stating he would not sign nor sell in January.
However Wenger is eager to secure the services of a quality defender and rumour has it a bid for Sakho is set to materialize. Regarded as the best defender in France, the 20-year-old has been a consistent presence in the PSG XI since the age of 17.
Blessed with great strength and speed, the French international is an ideal Arsenal defender. At 6'2", Sakho boasts an imposing presence as well as great control and versatility. A renown leader, the Paris youth has lead his French club and has over 100 appearances to his name.
Furthermore Sakho is a mere 20 yet exhibits maturity and experience of some of the best defenders in World Football. Many critics believe the defender would thirve in the Premier League and due to his nationality, Sakho would fit easily into the heavily French, Arsenal squad.
If Wenger is unable to secure Sakho before the end of the January Transfer Window, the Frenchman is certain to join the Emirates in the summer.