Arsenal are poised to make a £10m offer for Swansea City defender Ashley Williams, according to reports in Daily Star.The Wales international has been linked with a move to the Gunners throughout the summer but Arsene Wenger has bide his time over a making a bid.
The Gunners will offer £10 million to try and tempt Swansea to part ways with their captain. The Capital One Cup winners value Williams at £12 million, but Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger considers that too big a fee for a 28-year-old.
The Gunners are short at the back after releasing Sebastien Squillaci and loaning out Johan Djourou to Hamburg. The signing would be well-timed, with central defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny both injured.
Wenger has already bid £8m and is reluctant to increase his offer for Swans ace Williams, 28, to any more than £10m. But the Frenchman may have little choice about meeting that asking price, given Arsenal’s current shortage in central defense.
Vermaelen has already been ruled out for around three months with a back injury.His loss has been compounded by a report in The Daily Mail, stating that Koscielny has succumbed to an ankle injury while on the club’s pre-season tour of Japan. That leaves Per Mertesacker as the last established first-team central defender standing.
Per Mertesacker formed a hugely successful partnership with Koscielny last season, but depth is now a major issue. Aside from Vermaelen, only youngster Ignasi Miquel offers center-back cover. Sagna and Jenkinson can play in central defense but Arsenal still need a more reliable solution and won’t find many better targets than Williams.
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Williams has been the backbone of the Swansea defense during their two years in the English Premier League. He is robust and combative, offering the kind of decisive aggression the Gunners have often lacked at the heart of their defense. Williams is also more than competent in possession. He begins many attacks for Swansea with accurate distribution from the back.
While Williams would be a brilliant addition in theory, but when Vermaelen and Koscielny return from their injuries they will be in front of him in the pecking order which might not be so appealing for Williams.
Williams is certainly talented enough to push both Mertesacker and Koscielny for their places in the starting 11. Wenger will also know that he cannot risk being short of quality options in central defence, if he hopes to mount a credible challenge for the EPL title.
A center back signing is must for Arsenal. Should that be Williams?. What say Gooners?.