Arsenal FC Transfers: No Phil Jones, Other Central Defenders for 2011/2012

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Arsenal FC Transfers: No Phil Jones, Other Central Defenders for 2011/2012
Clive Mason/Getty Images

As another disappointing season has run its course, Arsenal's potential transfer fodder is heating up quickly.  As sure as spring will turn into summer, an Arsenal offseason is always filled with rampant transfer speculation.  Talk of Cesc leaving for Barcelona and Nasri’s stalled contract negotiations are grabbing the headlines—causing Gooners everywhere to fret their twitter feeds. 

And while Arsenal looks to increase its depth with an experienced goalie to mentor Szczesny, a midfield battler (Scott Parker?), and a striker (Gervinho?) as Bendtner is shown the door, there is one position which is continually scrutinized—centerback. 

Despite an improvement in their defensive record, Arsenal still looked uncertain at times.  This was especially true from set pieces where Arsenal was most vulnerable; Arsene Wenger recently stated that more than half of the team’s Premier League goals conceded came from set pieces.

And though in years past Wenger has acknowledged the side’s defensive weakness (yet done little), his tone in recent weeks appears more declarative.  Wenger understands Arsenal needs to tighten up defensively and will look to the transfer market for help. 

Whether he makes a big buy or not, Wenger did make a statement of intent.  Apparently he made a last-ditch effort to bring in the talented England centerback, Phil Jones (for what would have been a record Arsenal fee).  Yet, as happens in the season as well, Alex Ferguson got the better of Wenger—meaning Jones will sign for United in the coming days.

So, with news that Wenger is almost certain to bring in defensive reinforcements—effectively ending the ineffective tenure of Sebastien Squillaci—it is worth considering the most likely options.

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