Arsenal

Arsene’s Defensive Offensive

Arsene Wenger continues his defensive hunt. Indeed, in recent weeks defenders appear to be priority numero uno. They’ve been dripping out his pores, haunting his dreams and upsetting his innards – i.e. Arsene has been looking for defenders.

It’s probably just as well; fortification of the barricades is something Arsenal have required. Last season the Gunners scored only three less league goals than Man United, but conceded 13 more. If some prudent business can be done, Arsenal could set some concrete foundations, maintaining solidity at the back whilst the attacking starlets continue to twinkle. In other words, they could potentially look a very fine and more refined title contender.

This is why Wenger has been sniffing about – sniff sniff – and rummaging around in search of the optimum.

Laurent Koscielny, from Lorient, is a done deal. The 24-year-old has been the subject of long-running negotiations and will certainly be a welcomed addition. His early career saw him employed as a full-back, but he has since been utilised at centre-back. Laurent established himself as a fundamental part of Lorient’s first-team last season – making 35 league appearances – following his transfer from Ligue 2 side Tours in 2009. Since then his development has been rapid, hence Wenger deeming him worthy of a relatively pricey purchase, thought to be around £10million, after just one top-flight season. Born in France, his Polish roots mean he could be eligible to play international football for either nation.

Despite this deal, Arsenal remain light at the back and Wenger will be looking elsewhere for further reinforcements; the need for this becoming more pertinent with Gallas and Silvestre’s seemingly imminent departures.

Another player linked with a move to the Emirates is, alleged Tottenham target, Serdar Tasci. Currently at Stuttgart, the German international is very highly rated and would be another shrewd option. Possessing great positional attributes, he is also extremely composed and adept on the ball. Tasci has made over 100 appearances for the Bundesliga side, notably aiding them to a league title in his first season (2006/07). At 23-years-old he would be an excellent addition, but Arsenal face competition for the coveted German prodigy; particularly from Spurs and Juventus.

Finally, other defenders mooted recently include Brede Hangeland, Phil Jagielka, Neven Subotic, Gary Cahill and Per Mertesacker. Everton’s David Moyes seems to have nipped the Jagielka interest firmly in the bud, but Wenger could well tap Deutschland to add to his talent pool; most probably man-mountain Mertesacker or the cool, calm and collected Serdar Tasci. Both would fetch in the region of £10million, though the valuation of the former may well swell given his World Cup exploits.

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