With the 2010 FIFA World Cup over, the sole focus in World Football is now the glorious summer transfer window. A time for ridiculous rumours and potentially ridiculous spending, many Premier League managers will be eager to bolster their squads in hopes of a stellar season.
It is set to be an exciting new era in English football with a number of teams vying for not only the top four but also the Championships. 2010/2011 is set to be one of the most tense seasons to date with many clubs boasting successful investors enabling them to go wild during the Summer.
Arsenal are one of the few dominant teams with sufficient money, and fans pray manager Arsene Wenger will put it to good use. The Frenchman vowed to implement reinforcements on his squad after going five seasons without a trophy.
Wenger is in desperate need of a new, quality keeper. Furthermore the defensive stocks are currently low and frail which means Wenger is in need of some new defenders. Many talented backmen were on show during the World Cup and many performed impressively.
The 60 year old manager was lucky enough to witness the entire campaign and would have undoubtedly taken some vital notes on quality defenders. Here are six he could target.
1. Per Mertesacker-Germany
The towering German was a standout defender in Germany's impressive display. The Germans notched an impressive four clean sheets on the way to their third place finish. Mertesacker proved to be a tough opponent for some of the world's best attackers.
Blessed with great strength and speed as well as an imposing figure at 6'6", the Werder Bremen defender has been linked with a number of clubs, Arsenal being one of them. The 25-year-old would be a sensational signing for the Gunners as he would bring much needed height and power into the diminutive yet tenacious Arsenal backline.
Many regard Mertesacker as one of the best defenders in Europe and many expect him to thrive, if a move was made, in the Premier League.
2. Joris Mathijsen-Netherlands
The Netherlands defied odds and progressed all the way to the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, narrowly losing to Spain. The Dutch defence was outstanding with Joris Mathijsen leading from the front with some solid performances.
Boasting an imposing and strong presence as well as strong agility and heading prowess, the 30-year-old would be a credible signing for the Gunners. With experience and leadership, Mathijsen would be a suitable partner for the likes of Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou.
The Hamburg SV centre half is unlikely to stretch Wenger's bank account and, despite his age, would be a worthy addition to the Arsenal side.
3. Diego Lugano-Uruguay
Uruguay were easily the surprise package of the tournament reaching the semifinals and finishing a tidy fourth. Inspirational captain and centre half Diego Lugano, who received the competition's best captain, was excellent, performing strongly in every Uruguayan match.
The Fenerbache man is an aggressive defender with a strong leap and head. At 28, Lugano is experienced and a born leader embodying true fighting spirit. He would be a great addition to Arsenal and would ensure a formidable and quality defensive line.
4. Winston Reid-New Zealand
New Zealand remained the only team to go through the World Cup with three impressive draws, one of which were against former World Champions, Italy. The All Whites were expected to be thrashed and beaten during their campaign, and many gambled that they would fail to gain a point or goal. But they happily whipped up some humble pie that the footballing world ate with delight.
Winston Reid was an impressive contributor for the Kiwis. The FC Midtjylland defender scored the Kiwis' first goal and was a doughty performer on the right and in the middle.
The 22-year-old who made his debut with Midtjylland when he was a mere 17 year old, would be an ideal replacement for Kerrea Gilbert. Reid would be an impressive backup for Bacary Sagna at right back and at 6'3" would also add height and power. Not to mention the New Zealand starlet would be cheap.
5. John Mensah-Ghana
Ghana enjoyed an impressive campaign in which they advanced to the quarterfinals. At the heart of their defence was captain John Mensah who enjoyed a solid tournament. The 28-year-old was strong in the air as well on ground and marshalled his troops greatly.
The Lyon man recently completed a loan spell at Sunderland in which he was a solid contributor proving he is capable of performing in the toughest league. A decision is yet to be fully made on his future but he is currently back with Lyon. Mensah would be a great option for the Arsenal defence adding extra power, experience, and a cool head.
6. Johathan Mensah-Ghana
The youngster who boasts the same name as his national captain also had an impressive World Cup at just 20. The Udinese defender showed great traits filling in for an injured defender. Mensah played three of Ghana's four matches and his efforts are beginning to attract much attention from around Europe.
Set for a huge career, you cannot help but wonder what he could achieve under Wenger's guidance.