The Senegalese international Cheikhou Kouyate admitted that he would’ve joined Arsenal this summer had he not qualified for the Champions League. The 22 year old centre back has just won the league with Anderlecht and would’ve been a very solid addition to the club.
It’s interesting that Wenger seems to be looking at young relatively experienced centre backs. It’s clear that they are at the top of his priority list at the moment. First we were close to signing Yanga M’Biwa (23 years old) and now Kouyate (22 years old). It’s clear that signing them were aimed more towards the future of our club.
Mertesacker, Vermaelan and Koscielny as good as they are, are already at the peaks of their career. It is therefore an extremely good idea to start recruiting potential successors as well as maintaining competition.
I would’ve expected Djourou to leave the club if we were to recruit a new defender. The only problem with recruiting a new CB would be game time. Our 3 current first team CBs are class. None of them can be dropped. I guess Wenger could deploy them as right backs but then again, the likes of Sagna is easily better than most conventional RBs in the world, let alone CBs converted into RBs.
The one thing that stands out is that Wenger doesn’t really have any faith in the youth CBs. Kyle Bartley has already left the club permanently (to Swansea) after being deemed not good enough. Ignasi Miquel has struggled to establish himself more than a league cup player and has struggled to find any clubs for him to be loaned to. It’s a shame considering that our attacking talent at youth level is some of the best in Europe but defensively, it looks a bit ominous.
Now we can all see that Wenger did indeed do his best to get recruitments before deadline day with the likes of M’Biwa, Kouyate, Van Der Wiel etc. being close to a move. It’s a shame it didn’t work out but the signs are encouraging. I can definitely see us getting a couple of players in during the January window if possible.