It’s hard to remember the last time that Arsenal weren’t linked with a centre-half during a transfer window. The need for one has always been there but none more so than this time.
Calum Chambers’ lengthy layoff has made things worse for Mikel Arteta in his very first month in charge. The Spaniard will be hopeful of signing a new centre-back in this window and the choices are plenty.
Here are five central defenders who have been linked with a move to Arsenal in January:
A World Cup winner with bags of experience, Boateng was a surprise name to have been linked with Arsenal. (Sky Sports) The German has played just nine times for Bayern in the league and is on the lookout for regular game time.
At 31, it is hard to say if Boateng is the answer to Arsenal’s problems. The German will certainly bring in leadership and a winning mentality but whether he can cope with the pace of the Premier League is a different story.
Still only 22, Pau Torres has made quite a name for himself already. The young Spaniard had a sensational season on loan at La Liga 2 side Malaga last season and he has gone up a level for Villareal this term.
Torres’ performances caught the attention of then Spain boss Roberto Moreno who gave him his first international cap in November. Arsenal were heavily linked with a move for Torres two months ago (The Sun) and with another Spaniard in Arteta at the helm, they could well go back for him.
The Mirror reported last week that Arsenal are keeping tabs on RB Leipzig’s highly-rated defender Dayot Upamecano. The Frenchman has just 18 months left on his current deal which could make him available for a lot less than he is actually worth.
Upamecano is undoubtedly one of the best young defenders in the game today. His pace, physicality and ability to read the game are well beyond his age and he will only get better with time. Signing him would be a massive statement of intent by Arsenal but it will not be easy.
Another young defender who could be available in January, Demiral would be a brilliant signing for Arsenal. The Juventus man is sadly the fourth-choice centre-back at the club but that shouldn’t have anything to do with his quality.
Demiral will potentially be cheaper than Upamecano and Turkish Football claimed last month that Arsenal are among four Premier League clubs interested in the Turk. Arteta would certainly love a player of Demiral’s quality and potential but the competition for his signature will be high.