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Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Barcelona's Eric Abidal Would Thrive at the Emirates

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IJanuary 14, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Robin van Persie (L) of Arsenal shoots on goal from offside position past Eric Abidal of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. Van Persie received a second yellow card for the foul and was send off.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Arsenal must purchase Barcelona left back Eric Abidal to give the club experience, skill and versatility on defense. According to the Daily Mail, the London club has interest in the Frenchman.

Abidal has excelled in La Liga for the Catalan club, and has played very well as a left back and a center back for Barcelona, and France at the international level.

At 32 years old, Abidal won't be a long-term solution at left back, but he is one of the most reliable defenders in Europe. His good tackling, solid positional awareness and deceptive pace makes him an all-around talent in the final third of the pitch.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to launch a £4.1 million bid for the Barcelona star, and if that transfer fee is accepted, it would be a steal considering Abidal's quality.

However, it will be interesting to see if Barcelona sells him because Abidal has been a versatile player for the club while they have dealt with injuries to Spanish center backs Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique.

Since Abidal came back from a surgery to remove a liver tumor last season, he has become a fan favorite in Barcelona, and the club would likely anger many supporters if they let him go.

With that said, Barcelona has players who can replace Abidal on the left side of the defense, and at 32 years old he doesn't feature in the long-term plans of the club.

Abidal would give the Gunners a composed defender who has great Champions League experience, and has won many trophies throughout his career.

He's the best option Wenger has for a short-term upgrade at left back, and despite his age, there's no question he can be a very good player in the Premier League for at least two more seasons.

Wenger doesn't normally buy players over 30 years old, but for Abidal he must make an exception. He is a world-class talent and would give the Gunners versatility and defensive quality for a few years.

With all the injuries Arsenal have had on defense this season, adding someone like Abidal who can play on the outside or in the middle of the defense would give the club much needed depth going forward.

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