There’s no secret behind the defensive crisis Arsenal are going to have to deal with at the beginning of the season, and a fresh face at the Emirates is imminent.
After Per Mertesacker was ruled out for as long as five months, Arsene Wenger admitted he would need to bring in someone at centre back to fill the gap.
It’s a position that Arsenal fans have been crying out for a replacement to the German international, and his knee ligament injury could be a blessing in disguise.
So, what do we know? Well, the Gunners boss is after someone with experience, capable of slotting in to the side for Arsenal’s opening day game against Liverpool on August 14th.
Time is running out for Wenger to get a deal over the line but he’s stressed they are active in the market, so naturally we are all waiting to see who could be coming in.
However, we’ve narrowed down four of the most realistic players that have a chance of making the switch to the Emirates this summer. Let us know your thoughts on whether they’re the right man for the job by commenting below.
1 – Jose Fonte
Not much has been said about the chances of Arsenal signing the Southampton defender, but that could be all about to change in the next couple of weeks.
In a recent press conference whilst on tour of the US, Wenger admitted that experience is essential when looking to make a further signing; step up Fonte.
The 32-year-old has been with Southampton for six years and playing Premier League football since 2012 has moulded him into a mature centre back.
He might not be the agile, fresh-faced player that we’re all hoping for but Mertesacker never expressed any of those qualities so Wenger will want something similar.
Affecting the team dynamic at the back is a risky game ahead of the new season, and bringing in someone like Fonte could help to steady the ship on and off the pitch.
The Gunners have lost some key names this summer in Mikel Arteta, Thomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini who despite not being regulars, were vital members to have around the squad.
Fonte has the experience to help youngsters like former teammate Calum Chambers and new signing Rob Holding slowly progress into the first team picture.
As well as that, he can do the business out in defence and that demanding presence is something we’ve been crying out for during set pieces.
He’s not thinking about his international career too much either, and that will benefit the Gunners who need a player capable of coming into the side when needed.
His current contract leaves him at the Saints for another two years and at the age of 34 by then it could be time to call curtains on his career.
It’ll be very difficult for the Portuguese international to turn down any approach from Arsenal, as it could be a massive move that adds a finishing touch to an impressive career.