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Arsenal eye this defensive duo after Wenger confirms intent to buy
According to the Mirror, Arsenal have identified Shkodran Mustafi and Fabian Schar as potential targets after Arsene Wenger confirmed his intent to buy a new centre-back this summer.
The boss revealed as his press conference in California last night that Per Mertesacker is facing several months on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury during our 1-1 draw with Lens on Friday.
The defender underwent surgery in Germany on Monday and Wenger has confirmed that he now has little option than to dip in to the transfer market to bring in an experienced central defender.
Arsene told Arsenal.com:
We have bad news on Per Mertesacker. He played in Lens on Friday night, he finished the game and had a little pain on his knee. We found out the next day that it was much more serious than expected. He had surgery yesterday in Germany. It all went well. I know you will ask me for how long he will be out. I don’t know that, it’s [some] months, but I don’t know [exactly] how long he will be out for.
We have to look for an option to get a bit more experience. We will see some of our young centre backs on Thursday as well. With Per being out, we are a bit short on the experience front and we are looking to bring somebody in.
The Mirror claim that we’ve now widened our search for a top class centre-back and have identified Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi and Hoffenheim’s Fabian Schar as potential targets.
Mustafi has developed in to one of the best centre-backs in Spain after putting in some excellent performances for Valencia and reports earlier this week suggested we’ve already made contact with the German international’s agent to discuss a move to the Emirates.
The 24-year-old is also capable of playing at right-back if required so his versatility would no doubt be appealing to Wenger, especially if Mathieu Debuchy completes his proposed move back to Bordeaux.
However, Schar could also be a solid signing as he’s just come off the back of another impressive campaign having joined Hoffenheim from FC Basel just last summer and he could follow Swiss international team mate Granit Xhaka to north London.
We’ll have to wait and see who Wenger goes for but the boss needs to act swiftly as we’re facing a mini crisis ahead of the Liverpool game now that Mertesacker has been ruled out.
Koscielny is expected to miss the start of the season due to his late arrival at pre-season training following his exploits at Euro 2016 while Gabriel is currently out with tonsillitis so we’re having to rely on new signing Rob Holding and youngster Calum Chambers to hold things down in the middle of defence.