Arsenal Transfer Talk: 5 Perfect Signings to Bolster the Defense
A primary and, as most followers of football would agree, the most important need for Arsenal FC this summer is an imposing central defender.
This player, whoever he turns out to be (and knowing Arsene Wenger, he might not be bought) mush be able to stop attackers in their, tracks, have superb positional instincts and, most of all, be able to defend set pieces.
While no one but the manager himself knows what is going on inside the mysterious mind of Arsene Wenger, these are the top five players I hope he is thinking of when he considers a new defender.
Christopher Samba: Blackburn Rovers
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If it weren't for Christopher Samba's apparent lack of class on the ball, the imposing and immensely powerful defender would easily be the top value on the transfer market as a defensive solution.
Standing a colossal 1.96 meters, or 6'4", Samba would add an element that has been sorely lacking in Arsenal's defense for years: height. Samba not only stands tall, he plays tall as well, using his height and muscle to great advantage when in aerial battles.
Also, being Blackburn's captain, he would bring the crucial element of leadership, which has been visibly missing from Arsenal's back four, and would further help to organize against the dreaded set play.
Very affordable at around £10 million, he could be an excellent buy.
Jan Vertonghen: Ajax
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Though Ajax's Jan Vertonghen is not the tallest or strongest defender available, he would bring his own set of unique elements to Arsenal that no one else could.
First, his chemistry with fellow Belgian and good friend Thomas Vermaelen is pure and natural, as they played together on Ajax and on the Belgium national team. Thus, there would be no confusion in positioning, as was often seen in the partnership of Koscielny and Squillaci this past season.
And while Vertonghen is not the tallest defender on this list, he is no midget, standing at 1.89 meters, or 6'2", which is certainly a big enough frame, if you know how to use it, to succeed in the Premier League.
His value is likely to be slightly higher, at around £12 million, but his unique qualities could easily justify the extra few million pounds.
Gary Cahill: Bolton Wanderers
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Admittedly, Gary Cahill is not my favorite defender on this list of "perfect" signings, but he does possess class that in unteachable and is nevertheless a superb center-back.
Another player who measures at 6'2", his fantastic jumping ability allows him to defend against aerial battles, and anyone who has watched his goals knows that he knows how to place a header.
Along with Vertonghen, Cahill is the most technically gifted on this list, and Cahill is great at going forward and taking the ball up the field by himself.
Another pricey option, Cahill has a widely publicized release clause of £17 million, which is quite a lot of money considering we could get him for free next year.
However, money needs to be spent to put a winning product on the field, so perhaps Wenger will finally open his wallet for a skilled defender.
Mamadou Sakho: Paris Saint Germain
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Sakho would seem to fit in perfectly with Arsene Wenger's mold for transfers: Sakho, is young, has immense potential and is French.
At 20 years old, Sakho has many great years ahead of him and already has been a staple of Paris Saint Germain's team for years. He stands 6'2", just like Vertonghen, but his truly incredible frame gives him the power to muscle his way to the ball, no matter who his opponent is.
Moreover, he is seen as a future captain of France and captained his team at the club level as a teenager, which is an incredible feat to achieve at a high-profile club such as PSG.
This tenacity and leadership would serve Arsenal extremely well, especially in the late stages of the season where they begin to fade.
He probably would not come cheap, at around £17 million, but he is worth serious consideration because of his appearance as the ideal antidote to Arsenal's woes.
Per Mertesacker: Werder Bremen
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The perfect signing.
I have long wished to see the tall German in an Arsenal shirt, and as the rumors start to die down, I am beginning to think that he is becoming sufficiently obscure for Wenger to sign him.
Mertesacker is the perfect antidote to Arsenal's many troubles. He is a towering 1.98 meters tall, or 6'6", plays the game with utter class and sportsmanship and rarely commits any fouls.
There is more. At 26 years old, he is just entering the prime of his career. He is a leader and a rock on a Bremen squad that has seen a good deal of turmoil in recent years and could fill the same role on a shaky Arsenal team seeking guidance.
There is still more to love about the massive German. Werder Bremen is going through a period of financial strife, and thus he could be let go for a very low price, perhaps even as low as £12 million.
Such a price for a player of immense quality, class and one who perfectly fills a gaping hole in the Arsenal team is incredible, and that is why Per Mertesacker is the most perfect of all the perfect defensive solutions suggested for an Arsenal team in dire need of its very own rock.