Thursday, February 29, 2024

Emery eyeing a defensive addition in the January transfer window

Unai Emery says that although the January transfer window isn’t the ideal time to buy players, he’d be open to an addition when business starts getting done next month.

Unsurprisingly he’s after a central defender to help boost that area of the team, following the serious injury suffered by Rob Holding. The 22 year old is out for the rest of the season with a torn cruciate ligament, and it’s left the squad light in a key area.

Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi will be joined by Laurent Koscielny, set to make his comeback against Qarabag tonight, but at 33 and on the back of a serious Achilles injury there have to be some question marks about him.

Dinos Mavropanos is another option when fit, but he’s missed all of this campaign so far with a groin problem and remains in rehab with a return to full training earmarked for later this month.

It means the Gunners could dip into the market in January, and Emery made his preference clear.

“I think if we can take one player to help us at centre-back, I think it’s a good option,” he said.

“The transfer window is not easy. Koscielny is coming back and for the team it’s very important he is coming back.

“Then we are going to wait and see how Mavropanos is improving with his injuries, because he is also a centre-back who can help us.

“Another option we can play with two, with three, and  Nacho Monreal and Lichtsteiner can play in this position.

“But I prefer to use, if we can, a specialist centre-back.”

Already names are being bandied around. A loan move to out of favour Chelsea veteran Gary Cahill has been mooted, while some reports suggest that Emery is keen on Man Utd’s former Villarreal defender Eric Bailly.

No doubt there’ll be plenty more added to that list over the coming weeks, but we have to get to January 1st before Sven and Raul can do anything about it.

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Sven and Raul…..Partnership like Marcus and Mike, Tango and Cash..could go on and on.

Lord Bendnter

Peanut butter and jelly/jam

William Brooks

This could work out well, get someone in now before next season, integrate them and ultimately take the place of Koscielny in the squad next season having been here for a good few months

Bailly isn’t a bad player at all and I’d love to see us show Mourinho up as the twonk he is.


We have Mustafi, Sokratis, Chambers, Holding, Mavrapanos, Koscielny, a few youngsters and makeshift options. Don’t know if we should buy anyone in Jan, unless it is someone of the calibre of a Koulibaly, which would have us move on a couple of players in the summer. A loan deal for the short-term looks good, although Cahill isn’t someone who fills me with much confidence.


Kos and Sokratis can last a couple of seasons at best – we need an upgrade


Koscielny if he can last this campaign will be lucky. He is retiring end of season. Don’t get your head in a muddle.


Moronho ruins a lot of good players

Bring back David Hillier

Does Mavropanos need a new groin? He’s been out for a long time with same injury… Not sure a loan move for Cahill would be wise.


Groin implant LOL. No but I had a groin injury in my sporting days that took a year to heal properly. By that I mean it meant I could play on it in 4 months but I still had problems for the next year. I was a bad tear though. Some are worse than others.


Mavropanos needs to go on loan. Promising but nothing suggest he is ready to step up.

Ya gooner

Cahill is a good choice in the short tern just until we have our young cbs fit, otherwise I’d say grab a brilliant defender if available to replase mustafi/ the boss (:[) we’ve seen what a great cb can do with Liverpool.


Apparently Cahill isn’t wanted by Sarri because he’s not good enough technically. If we want to play out from the back we don’t need a player like that, apart from the fact that Cahill isn’t very nice.

David C

Christopher Samba is a free agent!!!


No Cahill or Samba.

Sokratis is already a stop gap at 30yrs.

We need a younger player like Calero.

Mesut O'Neill

Might be tough, he died in 2012

Lucas Sam

What about a DM that can also play as an CB so that we have cober for torreira and CB, granted torreira has been long coming by himself i don’t know if we and find another gem like him that can do cb also

Pat Rice and Beans

Kim Kallstrom!


You mean Chambers? haha. But in all honestly you heard the man, we want a specialist


Elneny say hi!

Evang. Simon

Has anyone being watching Dortmund recently?

Since that has turned to our feeder team


Funny how our feeder team is top of their league, and playing in the CL while we’re rocking the Europa League


Although you were slapping Evang down i still feel slightly slapped down too from that one haha damn.

Harish P

It should be clear to us fans before we get our hopes up that this isn’t a guarantee, just an.ideal.

Curious to see who does come in, if anyone. I feel it’ll be an elder one so Emery can really plan his defense out properly in the summer when all options should be available.


Let’s get a relative unknown unknown, like Torreira but a CB.


Let’s buy a world class cb, or if not possible, wait for the summer window.


Agreed, like Torreira but a CB.


All we need then is strikers, wingers and full backs like torreira and we will be unstoppable

Billy Bob

Ugh blogs, you mention two of the transfer rumours that make my stomach churn – I can’t think why we would want to purchase a manure flop or a chavski has-been (like they would loan or sell him to us anyway)!!! I much prefer the sound of some of the other players we have been linked with and hope we do invest in a Kos replacement as, unfortunately, I think he will struggle with niggling injuries!!!


Please not thug, classless Cahill; a terrible idea


Plus he’s old


Mario Hermoso we’ve been linked with from Espanyol for €40,000,000?
Can’t see Stan being keen on spending that sort of money though, not after no doubt saddling the club with a new £550,000,000 debt + interest


Disappointed not hear anything about a winger.
Iwobi & Mkhi are not good enough.


I think (and hope) our 1st priority will be a left footed right winger in the summer…


Wide player is tricky.

Most good ones even if available are cup tied.

Which leaves players like Pepe and their agents able to price higher.


We need someone to play right side to support Bellerin.

Billy Bob

I think you are harsh on both but I can see that mkhi is struggling for form – personally I can see Iwobi and Nelson rotating on the left, but we definitely need someone on the right, maybe Pepe

Fart Overjars

Not another united reject please. They come out of that place with a thousand yard stare. Not the sort mentality that will help us defend set pieces.


Bailly is a good defender just been ruined by Mourinho…I can’t forgive him for what he’s done to Mkhi…I love him but feel we got half the player that Man Utd bought.


think smalling and bailey out of contract in summer [ one of them plus cash for ramsey in jan] anyone?


Callum Chambers


Looks like he’s done. Not even featuring regularly enough for Fulham.

He is one player that Wenger did not manage well.

Promising Rback from Soton converted first into midfield and then at CBack but neither a success.

He needs to move on with his career.


De Ligt please before he’s valued 80m




He probably already is….


Spend 80m so we don’t have money to reinforce other areas. Smart.


Supported you always santori, but the guy said we should get De Ligt BEFORE he is valued 80M.


Am I the only one who feels like we might be buying too quickly? I know we have suspensions for Southampton, but we do have a few options going forward, we have Sokratis, Mustafi, Koscielny, Mavropanos coming back from injury and the two full backs who can slot in. Remember next season holding will be back as well as chambers, buying someone will just stunt one of our players’ development. If we could somehow sanction a loan move for Cahill then great, otherwise I’d sit tight


Mavropanos is untried. Nothing suggest he is ready to step up. Remember last season fans wanking off to him but he was suspect dealing with crosses into the box despite his large frame. He needs to go on loan.

Koscielny is a doubt if he can last the season. Any feature is a bonus.

That means realistically just Mustafi and Sokratis.

Bit of a risk…to say the least.

We can do better than Cahill.


I can’t see united or Chelsea wanting to do anything that might strengthen us as we’re all going for the same position

Red Arrow

How much do you gamble to try and finifsh in the top 4? I guess that’s the question for the owners.


CAlero apparently for 11m euros. That isn’t much.

Red Arrow



If it’s up to Wenger, we would probably try to get mertesacker to cover….


mertesacker to cover…. is not a bad idea


It’s a terrible idea and I love the BFG


Very important period coming up for the club from now till January, with so many games to play and a threadbare defence. I hope we can cope.


Tonight would be a good opportunity to give Zach Medley some more 1st team exposure, see how he goes and we might find we already have an internal solution.


Don’t get confuse with these sort of opponents. Its a different level at PL.


Let’s assess the situation. Kos – 33. Coming back from injury. Can at best play intermetiently as CB the next season and a half. Montreal – 33 (in Feb). Coming back from injury. Can play LCB, LB and of need be LWB. Versatile. Can play a season and a half at this level ( hopefully ) Mustafi – 26. Decent CB. Minor injury. Should be back by the game after Southampton one. Here to stay, till we find a better one. Sokratis – 30. Good CB and RCB. Can give us 3 seasons at least, at his best. Looks solid… Read more »


That’s what I believe. What do you guys think?


I think Mavs red card showed he isn’t now quite able to cope with the pace yet but there is definite potential there.
There seems to be a lot of ‘what ifs’ with him, similarly to other long term injured players we’ve had. It’s too easy to assume he’ll be great before he’s actually had a run in the side. Personally I’m concerned he’s had so long out with what should be a relatively routine recovery.
I completely agree on your overall assessment- we aren’t short of numbers or quality, just a combative leader


Depends on opportunity.

If a Cback like Calero from Valladolid is available for under 11m euros, its worth considering jumping the gun and getting in the replacement now.

Koscielny will not play beyond this season. We will be lucky if he last it.


75 Million for Koulibaly would suit, I figure. Dare to dream.


err…that would be a big ask.

Slightly expensive and will afford us excuse not to spend in other areas.


Things mustn’t be too good for Holding. I hope we land Calero from Valladolid. Seems a classy player with good footwork and at 23yrs plenty of upside plus good height at 6’2. Price looks a steal too. Likely Koscielny will retire end of season. Lichsteiner will go too. Maybe Monreal might be retained one more season. Plus Mavropanos is not proven article so needs to go on loan IMO. AND looks like end of Chambers. So there’s plenty of room to add. Most likely Calero will take the middle slot in the back 3, Holding left side, Mustafi right and… Read more »


That Virgil Van Dyke fellow up in Liverpool looks decent. Wonder if we could nab him off those under-achieving reds?

don't forget

“specialist centre-back” I love it.

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