Arsenal laid down a huge marker just a week before the start of the Premier League season with their 3-0 mauling of Manchester City to win the Community Shield at Wembley.
Goals from Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud sealed their second trophy in three months but Arsene Wenger, whose side are 13/2 with Ladbrokes for Premier League glory, knows his work is not yet done.
Thomas Vermaelen’s move to Barcelona has left the Gunners with just Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Calum Chambers in central defence and the Frenchman revealed he is in the market for defensive reinforcements.
Ladbrokes News looks at five potential candidates Wenger should consider as the Gunners look for a first league title since 2003/04…
The Dane may find it tough to break into Liverpool’s first team this season with Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel and Mamdou Sakho all vying for a starting spot at Anfield.
And with Wenger desperate to add to his central defensive ranks Agger could be the ideal option to replace the outgoing Thomas Vermaelen.
The 29-year-old has plenty of Premier League experience and can fill in as an emergency left-back, just like Vermaelen, while providing the perfect option as a foil for the likes of Mertesacker, Koscielny and the impressiveChambers.
The German international is the best defender on this list and arguably the most difficult deal for the Gunners to pull off.
Manchester United have been sniffing around Hummels all summer but so far have failed to stump up the cash for the Borussia Dortmund star.
But with Arsenal ready to dip into their transfer fund once again, aided by the £15m received for Vermaelen, Hummels could yet be a realistic name to join international teammates Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski in north London.
One spanner in the works could be the fact the German has been named Dortmund’s new captain, but in football money talks and if Le Professeur dips into his piggy bank once again, Der BVB could take the opportunity to sell one of their star names to someone other than Bayern Munich.
The much protracted transfer of Eliaquim Mangala to Manchester City finally looks to be near completion and that could spell bad news for Matija Nastajic.
The former Fiorentina defender has bags of potential as his performances in his first season in Manchester proved but last year he made just 13 appearances and this season he looks to be surplus to requirements.
But Wenger could throw the Serbian international a lifeline with reports suggesting he has been placed on the transfer list at the Etihad.
Arsenal had reportedly been tracking the 21-year-old long before his move to the Premier League champions but with Juventus also interested it could come down to a bidding war.
Arsenal have already dealt a huge blow to Manchester United by selling long-term defensive target Vermaelen to Barcelona rather than let him join LVG’s Old Trafford revolution.
Could Wenger, who has made no secret of his desire to bring in a versatile defender, throw yet another spanner into the works by making a move for the Ajax star?
The 24-year-old is one of the most versatile players in the game and would be an ideal addition to aid the Gunners’ title challenge this season.
LVG remains in the driving seat for his fellow Dutchman’s signature, but if the opportunity arises Wenger would surely take the chance to sign one of the game’s rising stars and get one over Manchester United in the process.
Arsene Wenger is known admirer of the 26-year-old and has had his scouts keep a close eye on his development with West Ham.
His ability to play not only centre back but also right back makes him an interesting option for the Gunners with Wenger admitting he wants to add a versatile player to his squad.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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