Five defenders Arsenal must go all out for this summer…

One look at the Arsenal defence and you’re not exactly deliriously overwhelmed by it.

Arsenal’s season was disappointing to say the least and in a season where the big guns failed to ignite, it really was a chance for Wenger’s side to take the Premier League by storm.

Despite finishing second above deadly rivals Tottenham, it wasn’t so much a storm as a wisp of air, as the Gunners were all but lukewarm.

With changes imminent at the back for Wenger, it no longer appears that there will be a place for the out of form Chambers and Gabriel, the ageing Mertesacker, whilst Gibbs and Debuchy may be struggling for game time next season. Only Monreal, Bellerin and Koscielny be somewhat safer than their teammates.

So who should the wily Frenchman be looking at when it comes to defensive duties? As Wenger strengthens his midfield and eyes up a new striker, it’s the defence that raises the most questions…

Marquinhos

Marquinhos 1

One position that needs strengthening is at central defence – Per Mertesacker has been inconsistent, Gabriel failed to take his chance last season and Calum Chambers seems destined for a bit-part utility role.

With Laurent Koscielny the only defender Wenger seems to trust, the Frenchman could do worse than pursue the signature of PSG defender Marquinhos.

He’s one of the most talented defenders in world football, but the Brazilian has often found himself behind Thiago Silva and David Luiz in the central defensive pecking order.

While he can play at right-back as well as in defensive midfield, the 22-year-old wants game time in his preferred position and could find that in north London, forming a formidable partnership with Koscielny.

Aleksandar Dragovic

Chelsea v Dynamo Kiev - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group G

At 25 he may be young, but he is also experienced. The Austrian has won two Swiss titles, one Ukrainian title, helped Basel to a Europa League semi-final and won the league title with Dynamo Kyiv.

Manchester United looked to sign the player in January, but had their plans foiled. Kyiv’s title charge was the main reason they refused to see Dragovic depart, but the summer could bring different results.

At five years Koscielny’s junior, it could be a great partnership – the perfect combination of youthful tenacity and aged wisdom. Arsenal could prise him away from Ukraine with a decent sum, possibly between £10-20million.

Kamil Glik

Poland v Scotland - International Friendly

Another strong and powerful centre-back that Arsenal could look to sign is Torino’s Kamil Glik.

The 6’3” stopper has impressed for the Serie A club since signing for them in 2011. The Polish defender has many favourable attributes, notably his aerial ability. 

He is also a vocal player and could be the leader that Arsenal so desperately need on the pitch.

Glik did sign a contract extension in December 2015, however, tying him to the Turin-based club until 2020.

Lucas Hernandez

FC Barcelona v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final First Leg

With Per Mertesacker and Gabriel suffering indifferent seasons, the Gunners are in the market for a centre-half this summer to partner Laurent Koscielny next season.

Despite being born in France, Hernandez has come through the youth ranks at Atletico and has featured heavily for Diego Simeone’s side in the second half of this season, making 13 appearances since February.

His performances for the Spaniards have not gone unnoticed and Arsenal are reportedly seriously considering a summer offer for the 20-year-old.

Ben Chilwell

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur - FA Cup Third Round Replay

The 19-year-old left-back is gaining admirers across the Premier League with Liverpool and Arsenal already supposedly registering their interest.

The Milton ­Keynes born left­-back is a product of the Leicester City academy set up. Chilwell, ­who has also played for England at U18, U19 and U20 level,­ didn’t take long to impress, and won the academy player of the year award at the Foxes in the 2014­/15 season.

The youngster’s rapid rise through the ranks carried on through to the start of this season with his professional debut coming in Leicester’s Capital One cup tie against Hull City in October.

 


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