Arsenal legend Alan Smith has encouraged the Gunners to go for a new centre-back in the near future and replace the ‘very erratic’ Shkodran Mustafi. In a recent column with the Evening Standard, Smith shared his thoughts on how the North Londoners are coping defensively this season and said, ‘I like the look of Rob Holding.
‘He has had a run in the side, which has been vital for his development and confidence.
‘It can’t be easy playing alongside Shkodran Mustafi in central defence, because the German is very erratic.
‘And it would be no surprise if Arsenal made it their priority to sign a centre-back sooner rather than later.’
It is no secret that Arsenal are in dire need of some defensive reinforcements as they have given up some poor goals at the back which includes a number of ‘schoolboy errors’ by some of their established first-team talents which include Mustafi. Emery needs a commanding presence in defence to help his side claim a top 4 finish at the end of this campaign.
Here are three defenders that the Gunners boss should consider recruiting during the upcoming winter transfer period.
The Brighton & Hove Albion centre-half has been a commanding presence for the Seagulls over the past couple of seasons. He is precisely the type of defender who can be a success at the Emirates Stadium if given regular first-team opportunities to showcase his talents. So the Gunners should consider luring him to North London as he could turn out to be a smart addition to Emery’s backline.
Matthijs de Ligt
The AFC Ajax starlet has put in a string of spectacular performances at the back and has a promising career ahead in European football. At such a young age, the Eredivisie defensive star has shown a lot of maturity at the Dutch capital which indicates that he can be a world class centre-back at North London if given a chance to prove his worth in the Premier League.
The Gunners need to improve their defensive record or else risk losing out on a top 4 place so the acquisition of this Dutch sensation might be the answer to Emery’s defensive problems.
The Burnley talent had established himself as a Premier League starter after he had an outstanding campaign last term when his incredible defensive contributions helped the Clarets earn a strong 7th placed finish in the league. He has carried the same form into this season, but Sean Dyche’s team has lacked the cutting edge going forward. Hence, a move away from Turf Moor might help Tarkowski take the next step in his career with Arsenal likely to challenge for a UEFA Champions League spot this term.
Moreover, Tarkowski would be the perfect partner to play alongside Sokratis Papastathopoulos or Rob Holding at the centre of the Gunners defence which could help the club strive for excellence in the years to come.