Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Transfer Targets: Jagielka, Jorgensen, Cahill or Samba?

One cannot argue with the fact that Arsenal need at least one new defender this summer. Our Achilles heal has continued to hamper our chances of success through needless defensive errors. We lack communication at times and leadership too, although Vermaelen's absence last season may change that.

At the moment we have 5 Centre-backs at the club in Vermaelen, Koscielny, Djourou, Squillaci and the young Kyle Bartley. Vermaelen is proven class and won many fans as he starred in this debut season at the club, although after missing the whole of last year with injury, he may suffer little injuries as he returns to peak fitness.

Koscielny and Djourou are different, they both had excellent spells at times last year and occasionally looked like a solid partnership. However, they do both make silly, schoolboy errors at times and cannot be called proven Premier league players yet.

In Squillaci we have a former French international who looks like he's forgotten how to play football. Everytime he plays, we know an error is not too far away and he brings up memories of Silvestre's spell at the club. he may improve next season, but I for one don't like seeing him wearing the Arsenal shirt.

Kyle Bartley may even be ahead of Squillaci. his excellent but short loan spell at Rangers showed he is a classy player, with all the attributes needed to succeed in the Premiership. he may be the answer, but he looks like he may be loaned to Rangers again.

So who are the targets to improve our much maligned defence?

Phil Jagielka -

The 28 year old Everton centre-back is a quality player, and has been an outstanding performer in the league for the last few seasons. The 6 foot defender shows excellent positioning and power and aggression when in the tackle. He may lack the height that we so desire but, like Vermaelen, he is more than capable in the air.

Having recently become a regular member of the England set up, he wouldn't come cheaply, but at a reported £15 million pounds he is not overpriced in this market. With Everton's recent interest in Bendtner - and former interest in Rosicky - we could even knock off a significant chunk of his price too.

Mathias Jorgensen -

Jorgensen is another mooted target, and is a lot less well known than either of the other three I am looking at. The Copenhagen player is the youngest too at 21 years old and lacks experience that we need, having only made 92 career appearances in a lesser league.

At 6 ft 3in he is tall and seems physically ready for the Premier league, although he would take a while to settle in. He also seems composed in possession and can be seen as the "typical" Wenger signing - young, cheap and full of potential. At £4 million he is cheap and may be a good option, but not my preferred choice.

Gary Cahill -

We all know a lot about Gary, having been linked to him constantly over the last few years. Having had certain doubts over the 25 year old's ability in the past, last season he really matured and showed why is feared by the Premier league's strikers.

Similarly to Jagielka, the 6ft 2in Bolton defender has recently been admitted to the England squad and has seemingly improved as a result of this. He has the needed Premier league experience and power that us fans want, and also the technical ability that Wenger needs in his defenders.

Cahill has only one year left on his contract, but Bolton remain bullish over his price and want £17million for their star player. Loan deals for Lansbury and Miquel may sweeten the deal, but as Cahill could star in our defence for the next 8 years, I think we should pay the £15 million needed to land him.

Christopher Samba -

Samba looked very close to joining us earlier in the summer, but that was probably all fueled by the constant speculation. The 6ft 4in giant is probably the most powerful player in the Premiership and has been the fawn in our side whenever we come up against him.

The Congolese and Blackburn captain has amazing power and experience in two of Europe's biggest leagues. His technical play is also underrated and he continues to improve year on year. Samba is one of those players that opponents fear, and that is something we have missed since Vieira, Keown and Adams' departures.

Samba has not hidden his desire to leave Blackburn, but having already sold their other main defender, Blackburn will fight tooth and nail to keep their captain and thus his price will be driven up. We could land him for £12 million pounds, although I presume Wenger wants to spend no more than £10million for the 27 year old.

Overall, all of these players could improve our defence in some way (who couldn't) but in Jagielka and Cahill we could really improve with proper organisation and leadership. My next choice would be Samba, and due to his price being cheaper than the others he may be a more likely option.

Here's to next season!

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