From the start of the current summer transfer window all the talk at the Emirates has been about which world class striker will be joining Arsenal, now however the need to sign a top class centre back looks the top priority. Even before the injury to German centre back Per Mertesacker many would have said that the club needs to find a top class partner for Laurent Koscielny to give them any chance of competing for the top prize this season. Yet again Arsenal fans have been left underwhelmed by the incomings at the Emirates this summer with the only major deal the signing of Grant Xhaka, who only adds to an area of the pitch where Arsenal perhaps have too many options. Young Rob Holding who they signed for 2 million has shown early signs that he has all the makings of a top player but surely now with the injury of fellow centre half Gabriel, Arsene Wenger must surely be looking to improve the centre back position for the club. Alternatively could he possibly give Callum Chambers a potential chance?
The Germany and Valencia defender has really emerged on the radar of some of the top clubs in Europe the last two summers and rightly so. With the financial problems at Valencia this summer Mustafi at this stage looks a real possibility for Wenger and would form a highly impressive partnership alongside Laurent Koscielny, whether Wenger does decide to fork out the money for the Valencia centre back is another story. Historically Wenger and Arsenal do not pay massive transfer fees for defenders, however in this instance the investment would have to be considered a top class buy and well worth the money paid. Realistically Arsenal might only have to fork out a fee of perhaps 30 million for the German, despite the original fee reported by the media that Valencia want 42 million. In perspective when we consider that John Stones looks set to join Manchester City for a fee of around 50 million, this money for Mustafi would actually be considered a bargain. The season where Mustafi and Otamendi formed a formidable partnership saw Otamendi get his big money move though Mustafi was considered the brains and the legs of the team, Arsenal should really be acting quicker than they are to get this signature before potentially another club swoops in to gain his services.
The Roma central defender is one of the highest regarded defenders across Europe right now and all summer we have seen his name linked with many of the top clubs not just in England but in Europe. The injuries to the Arsenal defenders might just put him back within their radar, again though would Wenger even consider paying the fee surrounding Manolas this summer. Some speculation has rumoured Roma to have a fee of around 45 million on his head, so again a move would seem highly unlikely from Wenger at this stage. No doubt though Manolas is a top player, he has good pace for a player of his size and is no stranger to a physical battle, another attribute that is lacking within the Arsenal team, his inclusion could allow Wenger’s side to play a high line and really play within the opposition half. The Greek international looks to be staying another season at Roma unless a big move is made at this stage of the window.
Klostermann is the second German defender who has been linked with a move to the Emirates recently. Currently playing at the Olympics with Germany Klostermann would look at this stage an investment if he were to join Arsenal from current side RB Leipzig. The young German defender impressed during his teams promotion campaign to the German Bundesliga showing a commanding style and presence for a young defender, his displays have seen him emerge on the radar of rivals Tottenham and Italian side AC Milan. Klostermann at this stage would not be the answer to the injury problems at the back for Arsenal and the leadership problems that the club has looked to have had for the last number of years now, but further down the line he would be very much a high class central defender.
The Bayer Leverkusen centre back is emerging as one of the top prospects in his position across Europe. Already a first team regular at his club at the age of twenty for a central defender is no small accomplishment, and to boost his potential further he was chosen as the late replacement for the injured Antonio Rüdiger for Germany at this summer’s European Championships. Wenger has always looked towards younger players to develop and this could be one he cannot afford to let go under his radar, the player is quick, physically dominating and good in the air. His main weakness would be his distribution at the back but that will develop in time no doubt. The young German would be a real sensible investment for Arsenal and Wenger as he could go in right now and start alongside Koscielny.
A surprising addition to the candidates, but Wenger is a known admirer of the Northern Ireland international defender so it would not be massive surprise if we see Arsenal linked further with the former Manchester United defender. Evans is a solid defender if not unspectacular, his inability to mark space is a big weakness and his concentration level is not of the highest order to play at the very top. When Evans was set to leave Manchester United he was initially linked with a move to the Emirates, so it is no surprise to see his name being linked with the club again. Arsenal fans have made it well known it is not a move they are massively supportive of but one that would be fairly cheap and they would gain a player with Premier League experience. With that being said though they could be best targeting better Premier League centre backs than Jonny Evans, maybe opening up links with Jose Fonte, Scott Dann, Winston Reid and Van Dijk.