First of all, the current defensive crisis can be directly related to Wenger’s failure to add more defenders to the squad in the Summer transfer window. Arsenal just have 6 defenders now, so, obviously considering their injury record, their defensive depth is bound to be stretched. Mathieu Debuchy’s ruptured ligament injury was a major blow for them.
So, can Wenger rectify his Summer shortcomings with few January buys? At-least the rumor mill think so as they are currently linking a Dutch defender named Virgil van Dijk to join the gunners in January.
In Summer, Van Djik was heavily linked with a move to premier league, with both Southampton and Sunderland showing interest in the player. Drama went to such a level that he was left out of the squad that played on deadline day. But due to some unforeseen circumstances, the move never happened.
Is He good?
Lets get some expert opinions on this.
Johan Mjallby, former assisted manager of Celtic talked about Van Djik’s technical strengths,
“When he first came here, he wanted to play football and didn’t want to do the dirty bits, so we were quite hard on him in pre-season.Technically, though, he is one of the best centre-halves I have ever seen. He is very good in the air defensively, too, but could improve in terms of scoring goals from corners.” “Virgil is so good on the ball with deceptive pace.”
Mjallby was an international defender himself. So if Van Djik is one of the best centre-halves he has ever seen, the young defender has definitely got some stuff. Tough defending, deceptive pace and strong Aerial attributes makes him a perfect fit for the premier league.
Mjallby also said,
“I definitely think he is worth at least £8million,” “If he keeps improving, he is going to be a superstar.”
“I would be surprised if he doesn’t play for a top, top team in the future,”
In such an inflated transfer market, £8million for a player with such top potential looks like a complete steal. Aged just 23, he has the potential to grow into a world class defender in future, under the guidance of Arsene Wenger. Anyway, the move will happen only if Celtic decides to sell. After losing Fraser Forster to Southampton in the summer, they may feel that any more departures will affect Club’s domestic success this season.
Let’s wait and watch how this saga develops.