Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is considering a shock move for Fulham defender Chris Smalling according to the Daily Mirror. Wenger is still looking for a long-term solution to his centre-back problem as Sol Campbell is only a stop-gap and Philippe Senderos looks set to leave the club in the near future.
Smalling has only made a handful of appearances for Fulham but has earned rave reviews and looks to be a classy player at this level despite turning out for Maidstone as recently as 2008. Wenger is thought to value the player at as much as £7million as he sees Smalling as a possible defensive leader for many years to come.
Smalling made his Premier League debut recently against Chelsea and did very well; he was unfortunate to score an own-goal. He is tall and good on the ball; at 20, he can still be developed by Wenger and adapt to Arsenal’s style of play. With Gallas in his thirties, Wenger is seeking a long-term partner for Vermaelen and sees Smalling as a strong candidate for the role.
Fulham are not looking to sell Smalling but a bid of £7million may be too tempting as they are looking to raise funds to strengthen in other areas. The likes of Senderos may also be offered as part of the deal and the Swiss international did interest Fulham over the summer so a deal could be done.
It is unclear whether a deal will be done this month or not, but Wenger will continue to watch Smalling’s progress and if he continues to impress, a deal could be done over the summer.
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