Arsene Wenger has been chatting about Arsenal’s plans for the transfer market in recent days and his most recent comments are very promising.
Wenger wants to make a defensive signing before the season starts, and he seems pretty confident about doing so. It is pretty common knowledge that Arsenal NEED to make at least two more signings this summer: a central defender and a striker. Wenger could have said something like, ‘we have five top quality defenders’ (Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding, Chambers and Bielik) – but despite praising his young trio, the Frenchman acknowledges the need for an experienced presence at the back. Losing Mertesacker is a huge blow to the changing room, but hopefully Wenger recruits someone who is an even better player.
Losing Mertesacker is a huge blow to the changing room, but hopefully Wenger recruits someone who is an even better player.
Here’s what Wenger had to say:
“Despite all the money clubs have, not too much has happened until now. We know from experience the most active period is in the last week of August and at the moment it is still a big poker game everywhere.
“The best way to conclude transfers is not to talk about it, but we are in the market. Do I think we will sign an experienced central defender before the season starts? Yes, I do.”
That’s reassuring. Wenger often speaks about ‘the last week of August’ but it’s clear he knows the importance of signing a new defender before the first fixture – we cannot afford to go into the season with a makeshift defence.
Wenger looks set to choose one of Bielik, Chambers or Holding to keep in the first team squad and possibly loan out the other two, or relegate one to the reserves for the time being. Holding played 90 minutes in his first game for Arsenal and he was impressive. Chambers has struggled in the friendlies so far, but his ability to play at right-back makes him a very useful addition to the squad. Holding can also play on the right though and Bielik is capable of playing in midfield.
Chambers has been linked with a loan move to Watford, and first team experience would certainly be beneficial for the youngster, who is yet to settle in a position.
So who could Wenger possibly be signing in defence? He must have some idea at this stage to suggest that he will have signed a defender in 15 days time. Earlier today we reported the four most realistic signings Arsenal could make in defence. Take a look and see if you agree.
I think Bielik still needs time to develop and perhaps a loan to a Championship club to play regularly should be the next move. He’s transitioned from midfield to defence well, but he still needs to work on parts of his game and Arsenal can no longer act as a training ground. It’s a battle between Holding and Chambers but I’d lean towards Holding staying and Chambers going on loan and it is Calum who needs that first team football more urgently.
Arsenal play Chivas on Monday morning 2am, keep close to Fresh Arsenal and Fresh Football for match reaction and player ratings. Check out our match ratings from MLS Allstars 1-2 Arsenal.