With so many injuries and incompatible components in the Arsenal defence, it’s almost certain that the North London club are going to secure at least one central defender to prevent the gunners from shipping goals.
Arsenal fans are licking their lips at the possible arrival of a long term partner for William Saliba, who is due to arrive in the summer. Yet all that unbridled excitement and enthusiasm could be wasted due to Mikel Arteta’s press conference immediately after the 2-0 win over old rivals Manchester United.
Over the last ten years the Arsenal defence has often fallen apart around Christmas time because of injuries but aside from that, there has been an undeniable lack of quality.
This season has highlighted a decade of a lack of investment in the backline and it’s exposed significant frailties which need addressing before Arsenal can legitimately compete for the top honours again.
Arsenal have conceded 30 goals this term with only 27 scored, which equates to just over a goal per game, which is pretty much relegation form. If the Kroenke’s ignore the limitations at the back, they may live to regret it.
Failure to spend at least £40m on a defender would be viewed by Arsenal fans as complete negligence and another example of making do. Yes, Arsenal did well defensively against Manchester United but they aren’t exactly Liverpool. On the night Solskjaer’s side were incredibly poor with half a dozen players under performing.
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After the match Arteta was asked about the involvement of Arsenal in transfer window and said,
“ We’re going to try to be in the market to see options that can strengthen the team. That’s for sure. That’s our obligation. We’re going to be working on that. My obligation is to give my opinion on the things I think we can improve. Obviously we have some bad injury with Calum [Chambers] a few days ago that is going to change our plans at the back. But the reality at the moment is we’re not going to be able to do much.”
That’s the most worrying part of the statement and it sounds dreadfully familiar to most Arsenal fans and he added,
“I’m more concerned at the moment to get people back from injuries than signings and try to improve the players we have here, get everybody on board with what we’re trying to do. If something extra comes up and we think it’s the right opportunity let’s do it.”
Mmm, sounds like Raul’s script for January if you ask me but one can only hope it’s a smokescreen with Chambers out for around nine months, Holding, Bellerin and Tierney in and out of the Arsenal side due to injuries of one sort or another and questions remain over the fitness of Kolasinac.