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Wenger Given Go Ahead To Sign Anderlecht Ace – Report
Arsenal have been given the green light to sign Anderlecht defender Cheikhou Kouyate in January.
We’ve been linked with the Senegal centre-back for what feels like years and reports suggest we’ve narrowly missed out on signing him over the past few transfer windows.
However, his current club Anderlecht have now admitted they are willing to cash in this winter if a suitable offer comes in. Manager Herman Van Holsbeeck is quoted as saying:
‘We expect to keep our star players, but Kouyate could leave ’
‘We know there is interest in him in the Premier League. If a suitable offer arrives he can leave.’
Kouyate is a powerful defender who predominantly plays at centre-back but is also capable of playing as a defensive midfielder.
The 23-year-old has been in excellent form for Anderlecht over the last couple of years and has also attracted interest from the likes of Chelsea and Norwich, but according to the Metro, Arsenal are believed to be in the box seat for his signature and could meet the Belgian clubs £6m valuation in January.
Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are enjoying a superb partnership at the back so it’s highly unlikely Kouyate is going to come in an secure a first team place any time soon, if we do end up buying him.
But he could become our fourth choice centre-back or maybe even third choice if Thomas Vermaelen was to leave either in January or in the summer.
Vermaelen can’t be happy sitting on the bench most weekends and has his place in the Belgian national team to worry about ahead of the World Cup. He’s a consummate professional so I don’t think we’ll see him running to the newspapers moaning about his situation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was privately considering his options.
Bacary Sagna’s situation may also have a bearing on our pursuit of Kouyate as he’s currently our fourth choice centre-back but he’s yet to agree a contract extension, with his current deal expiring at the end of the season.
So if the long-term future’s of either of Sagna or Vermaelen are still in doubt come January, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us move for Kouyate.
What do you make of our situation at centre-back? Do we need to bring in another option?