Arsenal made a disappointing start to the Premier League season under Unai Emery.
The Spaniard was handed a baptism of fire after replacing Arsene Wenger in the Emirates dugout. A visit from Manchester City was first up, and the Gunners were no match for the Pep Guardiola’s men. Goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva handed Emery his first loss as Arsenal manager. The former PSG boss will be looking to bounce back with another difficult game away to Chelsea.
Arsenal will still be adapting to the Spaniard’s methods and replacing Wenger was always going to be problematic. The Gunners strengthened significantly in the summer transfer window to bring the likes of Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno and Sokratis Papastathopoulos to the club. Despite the window slamming shut, the Gunners should be keeping tabs on Manchester United defender, Chris Smalling, ahead of a January move.
Valued at £16.2m by Transfermarkt, Smalling’s current contract at Old Trafford expires in the summer of 2019 and talks are yet to begin to extend his stay at the club. Arsenal are reportedly long-term admirers of the centre-back but baulked when United slapped a £25m price tag on his head. Eager to cash in on the defender, Arsenal could pick up a bargain if they revive their interest in the January transfer window.
Smalling is a polarising figure at Old Trafford with exceptional performances often being coupled with moments of poor defending. However, at 28-years-old, he is approaching the prime of his career and would give Arsenal another quality option at the heart of the defence. The former England international reads the game well and averaged 2.2 interceptions last season – more than any other Arsenal player. Smalling would also give the Gunners another aerial threat with only Shkodran Mustafi winning more aerial duels than the former Fulham man (WhoScored).
If the price is right, Arsenal would be foolish not to bring him to North London.
Arsenal fans, thoughts?