One department in the Arsenal team that may come under scrutiny in the summer is the defence. Besides French full-back Bacary Sagna that may be leaving on a Bossman transfer, Belgian centre-back and current Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen may also be quitting the Gunners. The former Ajax captain has just a year to run on his current contract and he is yet to agree an extension though Wenger has revealed his willingness to keep him beyond the current length of his contract but the Belgian is digging his heels for obvious reasons, he wants a run of regular football in his preferred central defence position but unfortunately, that is looking like a order dream.
In the light of him not extending his contract, Arsenal might be tempted to cash in on him in the summer rather than lose for free next summer. What is my thought? I totally agree with the decision to sell him in the summer if he doesn’t agree an extension though I am not keen on him extending his deal for obvious reasons.
Vermaelen has been a shadow of his former self and now error prone. I know he deserves more regular playing time but that can’t be at Arsenal. Currently, the Gunners have a thriving centre-back partnership in Mertesacker and Koscielny. The chances of Vermaelen breaking that thriving partnership is extremely remote.
Should Vermaelen leave, Arsenal will have to bring in two defenders especially if Sagna leaves. In getting the defenders, Wenger should get a right back and a defender that is versatile, one that can play in plethora of roles. One name that strikes me as a potential candidate is Freiburg’s center back Mathias Ginter. The young German defender can play as a centre-back and also as a defensive midfielder. His age means he won’t be desperate to play and will bid his time while learning from Mertesacker and Koscielny. His ability to play as a defensive midfielder means he doesn’t have to wait for either Koscielny and Mertesacker to get out of the team before he can find an inroad into it.
Arsenal are currently without a real defensive midfielder and by signing Ginter, the Gunners could be killing 2 birds with just one stone, Ginter can displace Arteta in the defensive midfield position and should he do that, he will only have Flamini to displace to become the team’s defensive midfield marshal.