Seems a London battle is ensuing as both Arsenal and Chelsea are set to go head to head in the race for St Etienne defender Kurt Zouma. The Mirror claims that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is in pole position to sign Saint Etienne and France Under-21 defender Zouma and wants to land him in January. However Arsenal counterpart Wenger is also keen on the £12m rated centre-half after receiving strong recommendations from his trusted scout Gilles Grimandi. Wenger is discussing possible January targets with his staff this week and Grimandi is advising the Premier League leaders move for Zouma.
The lad seems decent and also young which means he could be a decent back-up for Mertesacker and Koscielny. The future of Vermaelen still remains uncertain despite comforting words from the Belgian that he wasn’t looking to leave in the winter window but one can never say never as things changes quickly in the footnalling world. I don’t think he is still highly rated by Wenger. I was expecting him to start the game against Napoli as it would have presented Wenger the perfect opportunity to rest either of his first choice central defenders but the Frenchman decided against it. if he isn’t trusted enough to play a game Arsenal just had to make sure they don’t lose by three goals then which game will he play?
Despite December been a tough and busy month for Arsenal, Vermaelen is yet to play a single game for the Gunners this month and there are no chances that he would be involved in either of the clashes against City and Chelsea. That goes a long way in undermining his first class status at Arsenal.
To this end, he might just re-consider his future in the winter window and decide to jump ship for the sake of his World Cup aspirations and should this happen, Arsenal would need a replacement and a move for a top and experienced centre-back would take us back to the same situation. A youngster like Zouma will happily bid his time and would be a decent option in the event of any of the first choice center back been unavailable.
In the race for his signature, I expect Arsenal to beat Chelsea to his services. Wenger is a more resounding voice in Ligue 1 than Mourinho and most youngsters know their chances of playing first team football is brighter under Wenger than most managers especially Mourinho.