After seeing his team limp and falter throughout the entire Premier League season, Wenger would be definitely looking forward to bolstering his defence in order for his team to regain the vigour and strength to compete for the top honours in domestic as well as European football. As per reports from Mirror UK, the gaffer is looking to buy Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson who according to tabloid news reports has a market value of 6 million euros (“Transfermarkt“). But with the Teessider having penned a new five-year contract with the club last year Middlesbrough might play hardball in selling the player.
On the other hand, with Middlesbrough relegated, the 24-year-old English international might try to force his way out of the club with the lure of playing in the Premier League. Also, in case of a lucrative offer, the club might eventually be compelled to sell him. Arsenal’s defence has been plagued by frailties which Wenger has failed to eradicate throughout the season.
Why Ben Gibson?
The young English International has certainly been a standout player for Boro this season. He has started in all the 37 matches that Middlesbrough have played till now in the Premier League scoring 1 goal and having 1 assist in his pocket. His unconventional and vocal defensive techniques have also managed to attract other potential suitors as well.
- His ability to play both as a centre back and as a side-back would provide versatility in the defensive back line.
- He has an average of 0.5 fouls and 6.1 clearances per game which is quite commendable.He also has an average of 0.8 tackle per game accumulating only 4 yellow cards for the entire season (whoscored.com). This goes to show his vision and interception skills.
- He has already played 19 games as the Captain this season for Boro. This goes to show that he also has the leadership qualities and skills sought in a defender.
Showcasing his solid defensive skills and vision this season, Gibson has quickly established himself as a fan favourite.
Arsenal’s Current Situation
With Arsenal virtually missing out on a place in the top four, it is undoubtedly Wenger’s worst season. In his reign of over 20 years as Arsenal’s Manager, he has always managed to play in the Champions League. Having faced severe criticism this season he must surely be looking for a turnaround.
Debuchy, Monreal, Mertesacker and Koscielny are over 30 years old and Wenger might look into infusing some young blood in his ageing defensive back line. Arsenal’s current situation in the back four beckons a good addition to the squad. Gibson might prove to be the man with the energy, stability and vision Arsenal needs.
Arsenal and their fans have been deprived of major success for a long time now and it is high time they become more proactive in the transfer window and set about forming a balanced and at the same time a dynamic team which can challenge for major honours.