Arsenal are looking to move quickly this transfer window, after they got the unwanted tag last season, of being the only club in the top five leagues in Europe not to sign an outfield player. Arsene Wenger has already brought Granit Xhaka from Borussia Mönchengladbach early in the window but is still looking for more players who can add quality and solidity to his side. The Gunners are looking to bolster their defensive options after another disappointing defensive showing last season, with vice-captain Per Mertesacker in particular under threat. Even Gabriel Paulista couldn’t stake a claim to the position after a string of disappointing performances. This has prompted Wenger to go out and get a reliable player to partner Koscielny at the back.
Arsenal appear to be leading the race to sign the Argentina international Ezequiel Garay, with even the defender stating that he was looking to move this summer from his current club Zenit St. Petersburg just two years after moving to the Russian side from Benfica for just £4m. Both Mertesacker and Gabriel looked shaky at the best of times and were constantly exploited by players with pace. Though Garay isn’t guaranteed a starting birth at Arsenal, he will still provide perfect cover for any injuries or dip in form of other players.
A former Real Madrid player, Garay is a solid defender, his excellent reading of the game, clean tackling and amazing concentration make him an extremely polished and disciplined centre-back. He is a regular starter for the Argentina national team, having made 32 appearances till date.
The 29-year-old positioning and reading of the game is second to none. Given his tall body structure, Garay is extremely strong in the air, an asset he uses to good effect at both ends of the pitch. He also has a knack of picking out players in the attacking third with delicious long balls pinged from the back. Something which he uses in abundance on international duty as he or Javier Mascherano are tasked with initiating moves to supply the fearsome attacking trio of Leo Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuaín.
Zenit manager Mircea Lucescu is said to be aware of interest in Garay in this summer transfer window, but isn’t prepared to sell him easily. Gunners who have struggled with their centre back pairing for quite some time now, will be hoping that the deal for Garay goes through as soon as possible, given that the Zenit defender wasn’t selected for the Copa America, where Argentina have reached the final along with Chile. If Wenger does manage to sign him in the coming two months, than he will prove to be a definite improvement on the options that the manager has at his disposal currently. At the Emirates, Garay will get to showcase his talent in front of a world audience and the achieve the goals that he has missed out on since leaving Real Madrid.