There are conflicting reports concerning Arsenal’s next transfer targets and available money to buy them with, but what cannot be quibbled is the two glaring positional frailties which need addressing.
The Gunners are desperate for a new centre-back and a defensive-midfielder to strengthen their fragile backbone, in turn enabling them to challenge for major honours.
It’s been no surprise at all to see Arsenal linked with a hefty £32m bid for Manchester United target Mats Hummels as a result.
An injury to first-choice centre-back Laurent Koscielny and the suspension of new signing Calum Chambers has seriously exposed the thin layer of defensive cover available to Arsene Wenger in central areas.
Gooners will not be amused to see second-choice left-back Nacho Monreal or vastly inexperienced Hector Bellerin drafted in to fill the void at home to Hull – in a match they are still 2/5 to win.
Arsenal need another quality central-defender like a goldfish requires water, though the duel call for a defensive-midfielder renders the earmarked £20m budget too small, especially if Hummels is top of that list.
Wenger is right to pursue such a marquee player, but with United likely to provide extremely stiff competition for the World Cup winner’s signature, other targets must be drawn up.
One way of solving the issue so the war chest can be funnelled solely at Hummels or another top centre-back, such as Atletico Madrid’s Miranda, lies with the development of Jack Wilshere.
After his promising performances at the base of England’s diamond, Wilshere has shown he can play a deep-lying role.
A new light has been shed on his range of passing, while his tenacity is a natural asset that will need tailoring rather than teaching.
It also helps Wenger fit all the other attacking pieces of the puzzle in, especially with Theo Walcott’s imminent return.
Former Arsenal striker’s Alan Smith certainly envisages this role for Wilshere going forward after he tweeted his best XI.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) October 16, 2014
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