In addition to replacing the outgoing Alex Song, Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he is looking to recruit a defender before the close of the transfer window.
Arsenal have been linked with a host of possible midfielders this summer with Rennes enforcer Yann M’Vila and Real Madrid’s Nuri Sahin both prominently featuring in media gossip columns. While the latter now appears almost certain to sign for the Gunners on an initial loan spell it remains to be seen whether the boss follows up on initial interest on the former.
Speaking about possible additions after Saturday’s draw with Sunderland, the boss conceded that he could bring in two new faces: “We are looking to bring one more midfielder in of course, and maybe one defender as well because we still feel we are short in some positions.”
The confirmation that the club are indeed on the lookout for further defensive cover comes just days after young prospect Kyle Bartley permanently left the club for Swansea. Despite Sebastien Squillaci looking set to leave before September for Olympiakos, the Gunners still have four experienced centre-backs (Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Koscielny and Djourou) on the books with Ignasi Miquel a promising fifth option.
It appears though that the full-back positions, arguably the club’s downfall last year, are still posing Arsene Wenger a headache. Bacary Sagna remains sidelined having twice broken his leg in the last 12 months while youngsters Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs are still raw talents looking to hone their positional discipline. Andre Santos meanwhile is a cuddly maverick whom the boss appears less and less willing to rely on as a defender; the Brazilian was predominantly deployed on the wing in pre-season.
It seems therefore that there is credence to the claim by Toulouse left-back Cheikh M’Bengue that Arsenal want to sign him. The 24-year-old certainly appears keen on a move to the Premier League and fits the Wenger bill as a comparatively unknown French-Senegalese talent plying his trade in Ligue 1.
We’ll just have to see how things pan out…