Arsenal’s interest in Jonny Evans is heating up as Arsene Wenger looks to try and get a new center-back before the start of the new Premier League season.
The Gunners are alarmingly short of options at the back, with first choice defensive duo Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny both unavailable. Koscielny will miss the start of the season due to his excursion with France at Euro 2016. Mertesacker, on the other hand, is out for an approximate period of 5 months with a knee injury.
To add insult to injury, Mertesacker’s back up Gabriel Paulista also suffered a ligament injury, and had to be stretched off in Arsenal’s final pre-season game, which ended in a 3-2 win over Manchester City.
“We are very short,” Wenger said after the game. “Let’s hope we have good news from Gabriel. But we may be short for next week. Of course, if Gabriel is out, and Mertesacker is out and Koscielny not ready, it makes many players.”
Arsenal are known for their substantial amount of injury woes every season, and many have seen this as the reason behind their struggle to put up a real challenge in the title race for years.
Wenger’s current headache lies in defence. With a gaping hole at the back more than evident, and the first game of the Premier League only six days away, the French manager will be desperate to sign a defender as early as possible.
And the name that repeatedly keeps popping up is none other than the former Manchester United center-back, Jonny Evans.
Evans would be the perfect fit and would bring a much needed steadiness to Arsenal’s back line. He is an old fashioned defender – great in the air, a strong tackler, and comes with bags of Premier League experience.
There has been no official bid from the Gunners yet, and it is said that they will face competition for Evans from Bournemouth.
Another defender who is currently being monitored by the London club is German youngster Shkodran Mustafi. The former Everton player is now at Valencia, and at 24 years of age, could be a mainstay at the heart of Arsenal’s defence for years to come. They will face competition from bitter rivals Chelsea, however, who are also reportedly interested in signing Mustafi.
Arsene Wenger needs to get going and sign a defender as soon as possible, with the start of the Premier League only a few days away.