Arsenal have been linked with a move to sign West Bromwich Albion defender and skipper Jonny Evans for quite some time now. With the January window coming up, fresh rumours have emerged suggesting the Gunners could land their target in the winter. Primarily a centre-back, Evans can also play as a left-back. His own club might be open to letting him leave in January since the Baggies are not in the best position right now to refuse the sale. After all, they need funds to rebuild their squad with new manager Alan Pardew in charge and letting Evans leave could allow them to do just that.
The 29-year-old will be out of contract in a little over a year, making January an ideal time for Arsenal to capitalise. The player is undoubtedly committed to West Brom and that explains why the deal did not go through so far. However, the situation is different for the club now and their wage bill is almost at its maximum after Tony Pulis’ attempt to bring in new faces to the club during the summer.
Hence, Evans could be on the verge of an exit from West Brom. More than anything else, this could provide an opportunity for Evans to play for a top-level club as he approaches 30. Per Mertesacker is retiring at the end of this season and when that happens, Arsene Wenger will need a replacement.
Centre-backs have been crucial for Arsenal ever since Wenger decided to make some changes and experiment with his formation last season. Since then, he has relied on the 3-4-3 formation which was popularised by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte – and it seems to be working for them so far. The Gunners did have to endure a couple of hiccups in the new season but they seem solid more or less. Back to the 4th spot in the league table, Arsenal have amassed 28 points and are one point behind third-placed Chelsea (before the United game). Their recent performances have been quite solid and a lot of their success this season has come from the magic weaved by Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Skhodran Mustafi at the back.
Arsenal have maintained clean sheets in their last 3 league games before United’s defeat last night, but as challenges get tougher and the season wears on, they could need reinforcements at the back. Unforeseen injuries, illnesses or circumstances could drastically make or break their season and, considering that central defence area is crucial for them, Wenger could use a player like Evans in his squad.