Bolton centre-back and long-term Arsenal target Gary Cahill has revealed his desire to boost his chances of selection in the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine. Speaking to the Mirror, he said “I haven’t got a bad word to say about Bolton… but obviously it is going to be harder for a player to hold down an England place if you are battling at the opposite end of the table to players who you are challenging”. At the moment, Arsenal are indeed at that wrong end of the table, but is he the man to change that?
Having been linked with the Gunners for the past couple of seasons, it seemed like Wenger’s chance of signing him were dashed, with Chelsea looking poised to sign him over the summer. Luckily for Arsenal, though, Cahill stayed and the bids can start afresh.
This news of his wish to take the next step in his career cannot really have come at a better time for the Gunners, with various defenders rumoured to be lined-up to patch-up the tired defence. Höwedes, Vertonghen and even Brighton’s Lewis Dunk are just a few of these, with Vermaelen’s return imminent but those of Koscielny and Djourou seemingly not (though some might not be too concerned about the last two there).
Wenger did have the chance to sign him but chose to entrust the responsibility of keeping the opposition out to the aforementioned trio as well as new boy Per Mertesacker. Untested in the Premier League, it was a deal full of risks, and so far it is still debatable whether he has fitted in as planned.
Still, with plenty of time until the end of the season, Arsenal might find that they don’t need any new defenders by the January transfer window. Admittedly, this is looking unlikely, but one thing that is sure is that the chances of bagging a proven classic centre-back – and one that scores, too – look to have grown in Arsenal’s favour.
Is a traditional British centre-back what we need, or are the current crop of defensive talents able to improve, with or without a new defensive coach?