With injuries fresh in the squad due to last weeks pre-season game with Benfica, things are looking ominous for Arsenal fans as things begin to look reminiscent of the trend set at the back-end of last season.
With outcries to sign a proven centre-back, the defensive situation took another blow against Benfica when Thomas Vermaelen was identified by Wenger to have a sustained back injury as a result of an intense game.
Many, including myself, rate Vermaelen as the rock of our defense and without his presence our backline looks shaky at best, pointing out our obvious lack of depth at the back.
Amidst the news of his injury it has been reported by the Mail that Arsene has now upped the interest over Bolton defender Gary Cahill in the fear that Vermaelen could potentially miss the start of the season.
With the gunners’ chief scout being dispatched to watch Bolton’s recent pre-season loss the Levante, as well as gunners’ scouts reportedly having already watched Cahill in action on numerous occasions, the interest in Cahill is clear with Arsenal set to make their move soon (but how many times have we heard this).
Cahill is reported to have £17m release clause in his contract although, as per usual, Arsenal are unwilling to splash that much cash on a player who has under 12 months on his current contract, with Arsene more likely to try get Cahill for a cheaper price.
Simply put, I definitely feel we cannot be consistently competitive without our main man Vermaelen at the back. We may perform defensively well some games, but we all saw last season we needlessly dropped points to lesser teams due to major inconsistencies Djourou and Koscielny, our back-up pairing.
Things are beginning to look dire as the Premier League looms. Wenger has stated that he hopes to lure a player of ‘super quality’ this week and all I can say is I desperately hope its any of centre-backs we have been heavily linked with and not the young up-and-comer Oxlade-Chamberlain.