Arsenal supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much anticipating the new era at the North London giants following the appointment of Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger’s successor.
Frenchman Wenger left his role as Gunners boss at the end of the season after 22 years in charge, in which time he led the club to three Premier League titles, and seven FA Cup crowns. Yet the last few years have been something of a struggle for Arsenal, to the point that Emery will inherit a squad that finished a lowly sixth in the English top-flight this term, a staggering 37 points adrift of champions Manchester City.
Regardless, there are many positive Gunners supporters in the Tavern at present ahead of the new season, although several are well aware of the issues Emery must solve if the North London heavyweights are to compete near the top of the division.
And it’s clear that one of those problems is the defence and specifically the centre back department, which is why many are calling for the Spaniard to address that issue by moving for £22.5 million-rated ace Harry Maguire (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, the Gunners were far too vulnerable at the back this season in shipping 51 goals in their 38 Premier League games, which was more than any other side that finished in the top seven, and 13 more than any of their top six rivals.
And with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, and Rob Holding not always convincing in the heart of their backline this term, it’s clear that major surgery is needed in the defensive department to turn Arsenal back into title contenders.
And making a move for Maguire would be a fine start.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed a wonderful debut season at Leicester City this time round in starting all 38 of their Premier League matches, helping Claude Puel’s men to a ninth place finish, at the same time being rewarded for his efforts by winning the club’s Player of the Season award.
In fact, the former Hull City man has performed so well that he has earned a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia, with his adeptness on the ball as well as defensive capabilities off it making him a likely starter at the finals.
And given his ability to bring the ball out of defence calmly and with composure, alongside strong defensive capabilities both in the air and on the ground, the 25-year-old looks destined for big things at Premier League level – the £17 million Leicester spent on him 12 months ago is looking like an absolute bargain.
And if Emery is to take Arsenal back towards the summit of the Premier League, a centre back like Maguire is desperately needed in the Gunners backline, as other than the largely consistent Laurent Koscielny, the other centre back options simply aren’t good enough.
As such, the new Arsenal chief simply must seek to solve their key defensive problem by making a move for the England international this summer.
Arsenal fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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