Arsenal’s defense is certainly hard to trust, but all the experts saying that priority No. 1 is to buy a new centerback need to pay more attention.
For about half the season, it was all too obvious what Arsenal would need to do in the summer transfer window. With only Calum Chambers showcasing the gumption to be a reliable Premier League defender and William Saliba still young, they needed to buy centerback help. One for sure, two to be safe.
To some, that’s all they know. Chambers is hurt (or not good enough, which is ridiculous) and William Saliba is only one man and can’t fix this defense all on his own.
To me, that opinion reeks of someone who hasn’t been paying attention to the club. Although in this case, it’s an opinion belonging to Rio Ferdinand, not to mention many, many others. They believe that the first thing the Gunners need to do this summer is to buy a new centerback, maybe two.
Just dead wrong.
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I won’t deny that another new centerback would be nice. Someone like Dayot Upamecano or Jonathan Tah to anchor the defense. But that’s not even in the top five on our list of things to do. Not even.
Have you not seen what Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz have been able to do? Mikel Arteta has built a top-class defense on the backs of two defenders commonly referred to as clowns.
Now, I don’t think we should keep relying on them. Not at all. But consider that Mustafi will likely be sold, this defense is now looking to be anchored by a new trio. Calum Chambers, David Luiz, and William Saliba would thus be an upgrade on the already stoic reformation happening on that backline.
This doesn’t take into account Mavropanos or Holding and for the sake of simplicity, I won’t throw them into the mix. They’re wild cards. But that is a nice trio of defenders we have there and it stands in direct contrast to a midfield that needs immediate help and a striking corps that may need to replace not just Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but Alexandre Lacazette too.
Again, sure, we need a centerback. I won’t hide from that. We need four guys, and preferably one that has a proven track record of being top class and not injury prone.
But that can wait until we sort out the midfield and striker situation. If we don’t add anything to either of those arenas, we’re in deep trouble. If we don’t add more to the defense, we’ll be just fine.