It is no secret that Arsenal are looking to bring in at least one central defender this summer. It could even be two, depending on what happens with the Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian international will be less than impressed at having lost his regular starting place to Laurent Koscielny and may decide he wants to move on, with Barcelona one of the teams apparently interested.
If that is his attitude, rather than working hard to regain his form, which is what cost him his place in the first place, then I am sure Wenger will allow him to leave. I hope and believe, however, that the Verminator will be back, which will still leave the Gunners with a space to fill in the centre of defence. One player continually linked with a summer transfer to the Emirates is the Swansea City and Wales player Ashley Williams.
Michael Laudrup and Swansea seem determined to keep him, however, and have priced him at £10 million to try to deter Arsenal and Liverpool, according to Metro. The 28-year old signed a new three year deal at the Liberty stadium last October, so Swansea are in a good position to resist offers if they want to keep him. Wenger would have been hoping to get him for relatively little, but this now seems unlikely, so the Frenchman has to decide if he is worth the money.
Williams has been almost ever present for Swansea in their rise from the championship to the Premier Leafue and now their first major trophy. The Swans will be in the Europa League next season, and their vice-captain may want to stick with them for at least another season.
The way Williams has come through the tiers of English football, playing in Leagues one and two for Stockport, and the committed way he plays make him similar to our own Laurent Koscielny. Williams is a good player with Premier League experience, but I wonder what he will add to the Gunners. He is more of a like for like replacement for Koscielny, and I would expect Wenger to go for a defender with something else to offer.
If Vermaelen stays and we buy another quality defender, Wenger will need to rotate more next season to keep them happy and match sharp, so perhaps he would be happy to have another Koscielny. What do you think, Gooners, is £10 million too much for Williams, and is he the defender we need?