After deciding that Arsenal had enough defenders to maintain a push on all fronts, Arsene Wenger may be set for a u-turn on that decision, with the Daily Mail linking Arsenal with a move for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling in January.
Arsenal were heavily linked with the England international over the summer, but Wenger chose to stick with the stable of defenders that he currently possesses.
However, a long term ankle injury for Mathieu Debuchy and other injury worries have left Arsenal facing a defensive crisis, and reports have returned linking Wenger with the youngster who he still rates highly despite a difficult past 12 months at Manchester United.
With Debuchy ruled out for three months, Arsenal are left with only five recognised first team defenders, and youngster Hector Bellerin made his debut in the Champions League on Tuesday against Dortmund at right back.
The need to add another senior defender to the squad has once again returned to the fore, and Wenger may now be regretting not moving for someone such as Smalling over the summer.
Is Smalling the man for Arsenal?
Young, English and versatile; surely that makes him the perfect signing for Wenger, or does it? Smalling’s form over the past 12 months has been average at best, and his progress seems to have ground to a halt.
The Englishman has shown little to suggest he can be a top central defender or right back at Manchester United, so why would he be able to fulfil such a role at Arsenal?
On the other hand though a change of scenery may revitalise Smalling’s career, and Wenger clearly rates the central defender highly. Smalling would undoubtedly add to Arsenal’s squad, but whether he could develop into a leading defender of world class quality is a different matter.
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