Following long-term serviceman Gael Clichy's (deserves a tribute, wish him good luck) decision to leave the Gunners for the Manchester City Citizens, Arsenal are left with a dangerous inadequacy at the left back position.
Although both Gibbs and Traore showed glimpses of potential during the Asian tour, against Hangzhou Greentown and Malaysia XI respectively, neither have the experience and physicality to grind out a whole season unscathed or stay at a consistent level.
Clichy, now dubbed a 'mercenary' by some, offered not only blistering speed tearing down the flank but played with heart and passion. Even though his tenacity was sometimes undermined by his lack of positional awareness, his departure can only be perceived as City's gain and Arsenal's loss.
Potential replacements, namely Leighton Baines and Jose Enrique have got what it takes to fill in the Frenchman's shoes. However, the Spanish fullback Enrique will cost marginally less than Baines and has already told Alan Pardew, manager of Newcastle, of his intention of playing Champions League football, which Arsenal should guarantee for at least another season.
Thus steering Arsenal ahead of Liverpool in the race for the left-back.
Consolidating the credibility of Enrique's arrival, justarsenal.com confirmed earlier today that Wenger will prepare bid for the Newcastle player as soon as the Asian tour concludes. The Star also quoted from source in China saying:
“Arsene is aware of the news coming from Newcastle that Enrique is holding out for a club that can offer him Champions League football.
“Once he is back in England the chance of a transfer will be explored.”
The capture of Enrique will be an inexpensive and pragmatic signing, one Wenger should definitely not miss out on.