Following the unfortunate knee injury suffered by Calum Chambers which has ruled out the England international for the rest of the season, Arsenal are rather understandably on the look-out for a new centre-back in this January transfer window.
A whole host of names have been linked with a possible move to the Emirates, including the likes of Nathan Ake, Dayot Upamecano and even Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng. And now, a new man has entered the frame.
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According to The Sun (via The Daily Mirror), Manchester City defender John Stones is said to be of interest to the club, and that the defender himself is “keen to discuss a move” even if it’s on loan.
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The report further claims the former Everton man wants first-team football to boost his EURO 2020 chances, and that Pep Guardiola has lost faith in the central defender.
After hearing about the surprising links, Arsenal fans took to Twitter to voice their thoughts on their supposed target, with a few even questioning whether Stones is better than Shkodran Mustafi.
why we have mustafi !! mustafi is better minimum40% than stones
— Goglika Gogadze (@goglikagogadze) 13 January 2020
Is stones even an upgrade on mustafi ?
— PEPE (@Wengerite1) 14 January 2020
He’s trash, what’s the difference between him and mustafi
— OJA PAPI (@Savage_T_Raw) 14 January 2020
A couple of fans seemed terrified at the prospect of seeing Stones partner up with David Luiz in central defence, with one supporter in particular asking whether “Arteta has lost the plot”, whilst another simply stated that the Englishman is even worse than their summer signing.
Luiz and stones together. Has arteta lost the plot.
— Mark McMullen (@biggins861) 13 January 2020
Luis and stones oh god
— Rhys Padan (@whywouldidotha5) 13 January 2020
All these “announce stones “
Damm he is worse than luiz
— Graham Mixer 78 (@dicker_graham) 14 January 2020
A few supporters of the north London side seemed to employ a bit more rationale over the interest in Stones, suggesting that City’s own injury issues with the likes of Aymeric Laporte for example, could curtail their move for the centre-back.
Man City have a defensive crisis of their own. 0% chance I’m afraid.
— JoshArsenal (@JoshArsenalFC) 13 January 2020
But city themselves are short at d back.. deal isn’t happening!!
— dr mufasa (@mufasa_gooner) 13 January 2020
But City are short on defenders theirselves. Cannot see this for a minute
— Joshua Matthews (@gunnermatthews) 13 January 2020
Having worked with him at City, Arteta more than most will know the ins and outs of what Stones could potentially bring to the table at the Emirates. The England international hasn’t exactly established himself as a cornerstone of the team since joining from Everton for £47.5m, making just ten appearances in the Premier League this season (injuries once again playing a part).
But if the Gunners can land him on a loan swoop to provide a quick, short-term fix, then his considerable top-flight experience will make him a shrewd acquisition.