Arsenal could consider moves for three defenders in the January transfer window with speculation being addressed over their interest in Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi as a would-be replacement for Jurrien Timber.
The Gunners spent lavishly over the summer as they look to build on last season’s second-place finish in the Premier League. Indeed, they parted with the best part of £210m as Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Timber and goalkeeper David Raya, the latter on an initial season-long loan, were brought to Emirates Stadium.
However, boss Mikel Arteta is already one newbie down after seeing Timber suffer what appears a cruel season-ending ACL injury on debut against Nottingham Forest.
The Dutchman’s rehabilitation is already underway following a procedure to repair the damage and it looks touch and go if Arsenal will see the £38m signing from Ajax in action again this season.
With his absence throwing Arteta’s plans into disarray, it was speculated that Arsenal would look to the market to bring in a replacement for the unfortunate star. Indeed, Charles Watts revealed that sporting director Edu was actively pursuing a number of potential options late in the window.
And while Arsenal spent the last few weeks of the window offloading a series of unwanted stars, with the likes of Folarin Balogun, Matt Turner and Kieran Tierney all departing, it was ultimately decided that Arsenal did not have the required funds to stay within FFP limitations to make a further addition.
However, their plan to strengthen their defence will come under review again ahead of the January window. Without wishing time away, that opens for business in just 118 days, and preparations for that window are already underway.
Arsenal looking at Marc Guehi as one of three targets
One man they were rumoured to be looking at is Guehi.
The former Chelsea man has taken his game on to another level at Crystal Palace since a bargain £18m move from Chelsea.
Indeed, any move for him would not come cheap with the Eagles rating him at around the £60m mark these days.
The Gunners do have two other options too, in Benfica’s Alexander Bah and Galatasaray’s Victor Nelsson.
Deals for all three could be re-explored in the January window, although Ben Jacobs, speaking to Caught Offside, has explained why Arteta did not make his move in the summer.
“Arsenal decided against buying cover for the injured Jurrien Timber. Bringing in another defender was always only going to happen if the right fit became available,” Jacobs said.
“Timber was used as a left-back against Nottingham Forest, and Arsenal have Oleksandr Zinchenko, Takehiro Tomiyasu (who like Timber can play on both sides) and even Jakub Kiwior. And there is depth on the right because Thomas Partey and Ben White can both play right-back.”
Further sales at Arsenal first
Jacobs continued: “That’s why I think Arteta is content with his defensive options even though Timber is out for several months. A lot of these players, Timber included, are extremely versatile and can play in two, or even three, different positions. So there was just no need for Arsenal to panic buy.
“The likes of Benfica’s Alexander Bah, Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi and Galatasaray’s Victor Nelsson were all linked, but there was never a great deal of substance. Bah is a right-back and Nelsson and Guehi centre-backs, with the latter under contract until 2026 and not a player Palace wanted to lose. He would be the type of signing who would expect regular minutes.”
Before the January window opens for business, Arsenal could yet further streamline their squad with further departures this month. Indeed, January signing Jorginho is among those in demand, though Arteta will surely not want to lose the Italy international.
It’s a different story though with one-time club record signing Nicolas Pepe, who is in talks over a potential move to Besiktas.