With Per Mertesacker set to spend much of the season sidelined by injury, Arsenal fans are urging boss Arsene Wenger to bring in an experienced centre-back. And reports suggest the Frenchman is closing in on a deal for an ideal fit in three-time Premier League winner Jonny Evans.
The Belfast-born defender joined West Brom last summer, after more than a decade at Manchester United, in which the 28-year-old developed from youth prospect to classy centre-back, winning six major honours – as well as promotion from the Championship while on loan at Sunderland.
However, the Northern Irishman has enjoyed arguably the best form of his career at the Hawthorns, helping Albion avoid relegation from the Premier League, as they recorded the best defensive recorded outside of the top six.
Composed, commanding and possessing an excellent range of passing, he also impressed for Northern Ireland at Euro 2016.
That ability to excel on the big stage – as he did en route to Manchester United’s Champions League crown of 2008 – means he certainly possesses the mentality to boost a side with the domestic and European aims of Arsenal.
And whilst West Brom aren’t exactly keen on selling one of their most influential players, word is that Tony Pulis would be willing to let the centre-back exit if the Baggies could trouser a sum around the £15m mark.
In previous windows that may well have seen Arsenal balk, but after spending an estimated £30m on Swiss hardman Granit Xhaka, it seems the Gunners are willing to splash the cash for the right men.
Liverpool are the visitors to the Emirates this weekend, with 5/4 for Arsenal to enjoy the perfect Premier League start with a fourth home victory in five against the Reds.
It’s 6/1 for the Gunners to end their 12-year wait for a league crown, but if they can bring in a centre-back with experience of lifting the Premier League title, those odds could soon tumble.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.