Arsenal’s defensive situation is exciting, but if there is one thing to cull that excitement, it’s Chris Smalling. You can’t just downgrade that far from Dayot Upamecano.
Just when you thought every single Arsenal transfer rumor was going to make sense, we get linked to Chris Smalling again. Literally, for the last half-decade, the media has been pitching Smalling like he’s some great, grand addition. And it has never made less sense than right now.
With so many young and exciting centerbacks being linked to the Gunners, hearing the name Chris Smalling mentioned is so out of character that it’s borderline comical. I mean, you’ve got Dayot Upamecano, Jonathan Tah, and Samuel Umtiti all headlining, then you’ve got Chris Smalling.
The difference is in the prowess of the acquiring club. If you are a club that is building towards the future, improving and pas the point of emergency options, then you look at Upamecano, Tah, and Umtiti.
If you’re desperate and just trying to stem the bleeding, you look at Chris Smalling. Or David Luiz. Or Sokratis. All the guys that we’re hoping to offload this summer because they’ve already served the purpose of stopping up the flooding gap.
But wait! It gets worse. Because Smalling wouldn’t just be a stopgap, he would be an overprices stopgap.
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Rumor has it he’s going to cost £25m. Yes, you heard that right. £25m for a 30-year-old stopgap. We paid half that for Luiz and less for Sokratis too. All in all, there is zero winning in signing Smalling. There is nothing to be gained other than a relapse into what we should already be passed.
Think about it. We bought Luiz and Sokratis for cheap when the defense was crippled and suffering. They were temporary fixes while we built up young options like Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and now William Saliba. We already have them. If we still need temporary fixes, I’d rather just keep the ones we have, because we certainly can’t recoup £25m on selling Luiz and Sokratis. Not even close.
So just keep Luiz and forget that we were ever linked to Chris Smalling. Please. If we’re going to spend money on the defense, which we should, spend on guys we can bank on for years. Not guys we probably won’t have for more than a couple years. As well as guys who probably should be starting.
This defense has a much brighter future ahead than Chris Smalling. Sorry, Chris.