With what seemed an a ridiculous amount of inactivity at the start of the transfer window, it seems Arsene has finally upped the ante for the pursuit of a central-defender at the time he said he would act.
Long time Everton target Phil Jagielka was subject to a £12m bid last summer and this time around, it seems the Arsenal manager means business after reportedly already offering £10m for his services with rumours of an increased bid(s) around the corner.
With the pursuit of Jagielka firmly under-way, it seems the idea of of a transfer saga similar to Joleon Lescott is already beginning to play on Everton minds with star player Leighton Baines saying: “We used it as an excuse [for our slow start to the season] at the time – some of us.”
“We’ve spoken about it [starting the season poorly] a lot, but we’ve just got to do it and stop talking about it. It has been an issue.
“But it’s down to us to hit the nail on the head this time. We have to do something about it.”
When asked why he thinks Arsenal have targeted him, he responded: “It’s not a surprise to me that a top club would want a player like Phil because he’s fantastic.
“He’s one of the top three or four defenders that the country’s got. It’s no surprise. But we’d like to hold on to him if we can.”
I am inclined to agree with Baines, as experience is absolutely paramount in a defender. You only have to look at the likes of John Terry and Nemanja Vidic to see that agility and youth does not produce a great centre-back, but rather grit, strength, positioning, consistency and aerial dominance does.
After what could be called soft defensive blunders in our recent pre-season games, calls for a proven centre-back must be ringing in Arsene Wengers ear-drums and I have to agree with the masses. It’s about time to bolster our back-line and get back some of that grit and solidity from the days of the Famous Back Four!