Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Gunners Should Aim Higher Than Ashley Williams

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2013

If Arsenal want to win a Premier League title, they shouldn't be looking at Ashley Williams.

The Telegraph's Luke Edwards reported Williams would be telling Swansea City that he wants a move to the Emirates.

It's a move that has long been rumored. Wayne Veysey of Goal reported back in May the Gunners were close to an £8-10 million deal that would bring Williams to the club on a three-year contract worth £60,000 a week.

However, The Sun's Andrew Dillon reported less than a week ago that Arsene Wenger would be loathe to spend £10 million on the defender.

Swansea's chairman Huw Jenkins told the South Wales Evening Post, per the Daily Mirror, "While there seems to be constant speculation about Ashley Williams, I can honestly say that I have not had one call from anybody about him."

This looks like a move that is further and further from happening, and that's great for Arsenal. At 28 years old, Williams would have been an overrated, overpriced British player.

He's not going to get that much better on the pitch. At his age, Williams has pretty much hit his peak as a footballer. From here on out, it's downhill in terms of his talent and impact.

Spending £10 million for a 28-year-old defender could only really be acceptable if he was a world-class player—or right below that—or at the very least a major first-team contributor.

For Williams, neither of these really fits.

He's nowhere close to the best centre-back in the Premier League. Plus, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen are all better options than Williams would be.

That's a lot of money to spend on a defender on the wrong side of 20 who's only going to provide cover for your starters. Even if the transfer was in the £6-8 million range, there are plenty of other players out there who could do the same thing for less money.

It's not as if a move like this could never be justified.

The £8.5 million spent on 26-year-old Nacho Monreal made sense for the Gunners. Left-back was a major problem for the club, and Monreal had established himself much more with Malaga and Osasuna.

If Arsenal want to add another centre-back, Kyriakos Papadopoulos is a much better fit. He's only 21 years old. Purchasing him now allows the club to get a talented, emerging player who gives the Gunners more financial flexibility down the line.

Supporters have grown sick and tired of the club's stagnation, and they have a right to be. The club hasn't made the kind of moves that will propel it to title contention. Signing Williams would be a transfer in that direction.

Yet he's not the kind of player who will turn Arsenal into a title contender. He could be good enough to keep the Gunners in the Champions League, but that's not enough any more.

If Wenger and Ivan Gazidis are serious about taking the club forward, they should start targeting more talented players.