Can Jonny Evans Solve Arsenal’s Defensive Issues?
Arsenal are reportedly harbouring an interest in a January move for West Bromwich Albion centre-back Jonny Evans. The prolific defender was also linked with Manchester City and the club did lose out on signing Virgil Van Dijk. This means that Manchester City may consider the prospect of signing Evans and this could prove to be a barrier for Arsenal’s wish to sign him. The Gunners are in dire need of strengthening their defence and Evans does seem like quite a solid option.
The 30-year-old has about 18 months left on his current deal with the Baggies. Currently sitting at 19th spot in the table with the prospect of relegation looming over them, West Brom are not in the best shape. A slew of disappointing performances saw Tony Pulis get sacked and now with Alan Pardew in charge, the new manager may not be all that keen to lose the captain, especially when the player happens to be such an influential figure like Evans.
The former Manchester United star joined the Baggies in August 2015 and has been rock-solid for them at the back ever since. However, they have faced a lot of troubles in recent games and Evans himself might be keen on moving to seek pastures anew.
Given Arsenal’s current situation, they are most certainly in need of reinforcements at the back. Squad depth and quality have been amiss in the Arsenal defence and that was rather harshly highlighted in their recent game against Nottingham Forest.
Rob Holding, in particular, was rather poor and that is a worrisome prospect, considering he is one of their young players primed for a regular spot in the future. Right now, besides Shkodran Mustafi, both Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are over 30 years of age.
That said, Evans is also 30-years-old, but the fact is that he will add extra depth to the club’s defensive options. Koscielny continues to be a strong option but Mertesacker has been frustratingly underwhelming. Their leaky defence has cost them a lot of points this season and they cannot afford to continue like this.
With Wenger’s future in serious jeopardy, a move for Evans could bring about some much-needed power to strengthen their defence. Granted, he may not really be a long-term option but he has the required skill and experience, which makes him a sturdy option to address Arsenal’s immediate concerns. Signing a player like him will provide the club with a nice cushion to search for a younger and more dynamic centre-back.