He might not be the most glamorous name to arrive at the Emirates in recent years, but Arsene Wenger’s pre-season defensive crisis has led him to ex-Manchester United centre-back and Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans.
Heading into their opener at home to Liverpool this Sunday, Arsenal will be without Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and now Gabriel, leaving the Gunners desperately short at the back in terms of experience.
While Wenger’s interest in the West Brom defender may have raised a few eyebrows, here are three reasons why signing Evans would be worthwhile.
Rumoured to be available for around £16m, signing the Baggies man would only scratch the surface of the funds Wenger supposedly has at his disposal, meaning it would be reasonable to expect one more marquee signing alongside the centre-back this summer.
Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi, however, is rumoured to cost in excess of £40m – and it’s unlikely the Arsenal boss will break the club’s record transfer fee for the relatively unproven 24-year-old.
At 28-years-old, Wenger would be signing a fully established defender with Premier League experience in abundance.
And he’s also used to winning titles, too. Evans has three Premier League winners’ medals to his name, something which only Petr Cech can top at Arsenal.
Evans would bring both a cool head and a winning mentality to North London, something which the Arsenal back four have arguably been lacking in recent years.
It’s a formula that has been tried and tested
This wouldn’t be the first time Wenger has brought in Premier League winners from other English clubs.
In fact, two of his most recent acquisitions from top flight teams – Danny Welbeck and Petr Cech – were welcomed with open arms by Gunners fans, and both have delivered excellent performances for the North London outfit.
Yes, many Arsenal fans will question the reasons for this deal taking place, but there’s no disputing the quality Evans possesses, and it might just prove vital in their push for a first league title since 2004.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.