It seems as though Arsenal have finally realised their defence doesn’t look up to much. About time too.
The introduction of Steve Bould to their backroom staff hasn’t really had the desired effect and all three first team centre backs are looking well short of form. Thomas Vermaelen in particular looks particularly poor and the whole back four categorically failed to deal with Tottenham’s pacy wingers on Sunday.
So what is to be done? Well according to The Guardian Arsene Wenger has identified Swansea’s Ashley Williams as the man to bring solidity to his defence with the necessary leadership qualities to whip the others into shape.
Apparently Williams would cost around £8m so would definitely be more of an Arteta or Mertesacker signing for Arsenal (reasonable sum for experienced player) than another ‘one for the future’.
The Gunners will face competition from Liverpool though. Brendan Rodgers is obviously rather keen on the Swansea defender who was so integral to his Swansea side of last season and is known to want to bring him to Anfield. The Reds are preparing for Jamie Carragher’s retirement and have also seen their first choice centre backs suffer something of a dip in from.
If Williams is offered a straight choice between Liverpool and Arsenal it will be interesting to see which he chooses. Of course much will hinge on whether or not Wenger can scrape the Gunners into the Champions League again, but if not would Europa League football at Arsenal be enough of a carrot to attract the Wales captain when a reunion with his former manager is on offer?
Were Liverpool to secure the signature of Williams they will be hoping the move works out better than the other players Rodgers has purchased after working with them previously. Both Fabio Borini and Joe Allen have struggled at Anfield and in hindsight look over priced. Would it be the same case with Williams or is he the man these struggling sides need?