When Arsenal are performing well defensively (i.e. when Laurent Koscielny is playing), they look like a completely different team. They soak up pressure better, distribute the ball better, break better, hold the ball better and create more chances. It’s somewhat trite to say, but when The Gunners’ back-four are in form, the rest of the team follows suit.
That’s why it’s so unfortunate that Arsene Wenger’s back-four has been in a constant state of flux this season. Injury problems have seen players like Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny face long lay-offs, whilst Nacho Monreal has often been played out of position. Given the lack of experience in this area (Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin are both 19-years-old), is it any wonder that Arsenal have struggled in this department?
Of course, Arsene Wenger should have done more to guard against this in the summer transfer window. But it’s no use looking backwards now. It’s time to look forward and with the January transfer window fast approaching, there’s plenty of reasons to be cheerful.
One of the players most commonly linked to The Gunners over the last few months has been Aston Villa’s star centre-back, Ron Vlaar. The experienced Premier League defender looks like a perfect fit for Arsenal. He’s strong, he’s smart, he’s adaptable and he knows the English game well. What’s not to love.
With his Villa contract set to expire at the end of the season, it wouldn’t be that surprising to see Wenger snap up a real bargain during the January transfer window. Unfortunately for Arsenal, The Professor is going to face competition from Manchester United (Louis Van Gaal knows Vlaar well from his time as manager of the Dutch international team) and The Metro claim that Napoli are preparing to make an offer.
In other words, if Arsene Wenger really is interested, he’s going to have to pull out all the stops. Let’s hope he’s up to the challenge and that he’s ready to go face-to-face with Van Gaal and Rafa Benitez.
What’s your take? Is Ron Vlaar the perfect solution for Arsenal?
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