Arsenal are reportedly preparing a January swoop for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, according to reports in Goal.com.
The Gunners almost snapped up the centre-back in 2010 before he originally left for Old Trafford before trying again to bring him to the club during the summer transfer window.
The report states that the North London club are ready to reignite their interest in the England international defender in January as Arsene Wenger looks to sign more cover across the back-line. The defender’s contract does not expire until the summer of 2016, but he would be available for as little as €13 million in the winter window as Louis van Gaal continues to listen to offers for United’s fringe players.
It further states that the Gunners could comfortably match the €67,000-per-week wages that the Englishman currently earns at Old Trafford and Wenger is particularly attracted by his defensive versatility.
Arsenal have experienced something of an injury crisis of late with full-backs Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy both being sidelined. The sale of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona has arguably also left the Emirates Stadium side short of central defensive options, though youngster Calum Chambers has been superb when called upon to fill in on that front.
Should we sign?
He is a versatile player as he can play in the heart of defence and also down the right and left flanks. His career has faltered over the past couple of seasons after he signed for United, mainly due to a combination of injuries and having to fill in at right-back. However, he is still young and that means there is still room for improvement from the defender.
The Gunners are in need of strengthening at the back and Smalling would certainly add to their options at full-back and central defence. He may appear an underwhelming signing, but time is still on his side to become a decent centre-back, and Arsenal could definitely do with some back-up in defence right now.
However, it remains to be seen whether Louis van Gaal will allow Smalling to leave during the winter window, with the Red Devils currently enduring a crisis of their own in the defensive department.
Should we sign him? Share your thoughts in the comments below.