Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger broke his tradition and spent big on a few additions to his squad in the summer. The likes of Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding and Lucas Perez have all had their effect on the squad but with Arsenal not finding consistency yet this season, the manager is looking for possible additions in January. They have been linked to some of the best players in Europe and one such player who is now reportedly on Wenger’s book is AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas.
Recent reports have suggested that the Greek defender has rejected a contract extension in Rome and is now ready to move away from the club and that Arsenal are front runners for his signature. The 25-year old was a transfer target for the Gunners who could not lure him out and spent on Mustafi. The German defender has formed a superb partnership at the back for Arsenal alongside Laurent Koscielny but the manager does not have enough options to replace either of them in the starting XI in crunch games. The likes of Per Mertesacker (who is injured) and Gabriel are not preferred yet while Rob Holding will take some time to get used to the challenges of the Premier League.
This has left the manager a bit weak at the back and Wenger now has his eye on the Roma man for a move in January. Manolas is contracted with the Italian outfit till 2019 so he is not expected to cost too much but do Arsenal really need him? Koscielny and Mustafi will be the first choice center backs for the club this season even after Mertesacker is back fit. The tall German has been decent in the previous season and will be the first choice to replace either of the players from the bench. He is expected to be back in action by the turn of the season so making a move for Manolas would be a bit weird.
At 25, the Greece international is one of the most consistent defenders in Italy for some time now and if he is leaving the club in January, it will be for first team place in a top class side. He will hardly think about leaving the Italian outfit for a place on the bench at the Emirates and Wenger will have a big headache to provide him and other enough game time in the season.
Manolas has most attributes that will make him an instant hit in England but it will be interesting to see if playing under Wenger will be enough for him to leave a place in the starting lineup at Roma. Mertesacker might not be at the club for a long time but Arsenal already have a solid defensive pair and Wenger will not have to worry too much as he also has Rob Holding and Calum Chambers, two exciting youngsters on the books at the moment.
Do you think Arsenal should spend on Manolas this January?