Gabriel’s injury, sustained Arsenal’s game with Manchester City this Sunday past has left Arsene Wenger with a big problem ahead of the start of the Premier League this weekend. Another pre-season injury to Per Mertesacker in our meeting with Lens several weeks ago, which will leave the German sidelined until 2017 means that Arsene Wenger has a gigantic shortage of available centre backs, with Laurent Koscielny, himself only recently returned from his summer break as the club’s only senior centre back at present.
London Evening Standard reporter James Benge has offered the following on Arsenal’s current plight:
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) August 8, 2016
The Telegraph back this up, suggesting that Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi is top of the Gunners’ emergency wishlist. The German could be subject to a £20m bid very soon with Arsenal clearly needing to rush through a deal not only before the Premier League begins, but before the summer transfer window closes on August 31st. The German international would be a relatively inexpensive option of good quality, with yesterday’s news via Sport Witness that Mustafi skipped training this week suggesting that not all is rosy for the player in Spain.
West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans is also mentioned in The Telegraph’s piece:
“Arsenal are also interested in Jonny Evans, but West Bromwich Albion are insistent that it would take far more that the £15 million the Gunners are believed to be prepared to pay to tempt them to sell the former Manchester United man.”
On the face of it, a deal for Evans shouldn’t be too difficult to complete, but Albion helped to resurrect the former Manchester United defender’s career, and the sizeable global television struck by the Premier League and shared between all 20 clubs in the division mean that clubs outside of the traditional Champions League teams have less of a financial reason to sell. But Arsenal could do worse than to pay up for Evans, given this rich experience in English football, and the Northern Irishman is reportedly keen on a deal.
Should Arsenal get particularly desperate, Manchester City are looking to offload Eliaqium Mangala this summer. The Frenchman has not been registered for City’s Champions League squad along with Salir Nasri and Wilfried Bony, which suggests that Pep Guardiola is keen on offloading the trio.
Worth noting there’s no Nasri, Bony or Mangala on MCFC’s CL squad list. Club can submit up to 25 players, but City have only listed 21.
— Paul Hirst (@hirstclass) August 9, 2016
If that’s the case, then City may be willing to do a cut-price deal in order to get Mangala off their books before the transfer window shuts. Wenger has options in his search for a centre back, regardless.