Wenger looking to strengthen Arsenal defence
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted he must improve his sides defence if they are to be genuine title challengers again next season. Only Chelsea and Manchester United have scored more goals than Arsenal so far this year, but with 39 goals conceded at the other end the Gunners have only the 6th best defensive record, something Wenger is keen to improve next campaign.
“The squad is convinced we have a strong chance next year because we have room for improvement.
“If you assess our situation, going forwards we have been very, very efficient – our goalscoring rate is very good.
“Where we want to set ourselves a target next season is we have conceded nearly 40 goals – that is too many to win the championship and is where we want to improve.”
It could be argued that Arsenal’s defensive record would be greatly improved had both William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen managed to avoid injury, but with Gallas yet to agree a contract extension, and both back up centre backs Campbell and Silvestre also out of contract, it looks like a summer of rebuilding at the back is in order for Arsenal this summer.
The usual names have been linked to us as the transfer window approaches, Hangeland, Subotic, Sakho to name a few, but only Arsene Wenger knows who he will buy and it seems a lot depends on whether Gallas signs an extension or not. Arsene says he will definitely buy if Gallas leaves, and will have to assess his options depending on the futures of Campbell and Silvestre.
“What is for sure if Gallas doesn’t extend his contract we have to go out and strengthen this position,” said the manager. “For the rest we will see.
“There is a cut off point for Gallas. It doesn’t depend only on me. Gallas can come and say ‘Boss we will stop the talks because I signed somewhere and that’s it’.
“I could set a deadline for us and that will certainly be before the end of May because we then have to look for someone else. We have more talks planned.
“I still have to assess the Gallas and Campbell situations. Silvestre is out of contract too and the whole package has to be right – one goes, one stays. We have to get the number right.
“If Gallas and Campbell stay it will depend slightly on how well Djourou comes back about what we will do. He looks good in training, quite positive.”
I think it should be this simple. Give Gallas a two year contract, give Campbell a one year extension, let Silvestre leave and replace him with a defender who is ready to come straight in and compete with Gallas and Vermaelen for a first team place. We would have five centre backs, including Djourou, so would be well stocked in case of injuries.
If Gallas doesn’t stay, buy a ready made replacement, ideally someone over six foot and at least 25 years old, then also sign another talented centre half who can push for a first team spot. We need three centre backs who are top class, with Campbell and Djourou as back ups.
What do Arsenal fans think Wenger should do with the defense? Please leave your comments below…
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