Jonny Evans move to Arsenal intimately failed in January with West Brom asking for a reportedly unreasonable £30m. Negotiations coincided with Evans picking up a hamstring injury, which will keep him out to them end of this month; making him a fairly unattractive option for the run in.
Although the move failed in January, Arsenal may resurrect their interest if West Brom are relegated. If the midlands club go down, Evans will be available for a knock down £3m fee, which is a bargain Arsenal cannot afford to miss out on, considering their lacklustre defensive options.
It’s been reported that Evans is not Arsenal’s first choice this summer, with Kostas Manolas taking that position. The Greek defender was also a January target, with his release clause set around £30-£35m, and he is someone Arsenal must add if they are serious about mounting a title challenge.
Along with Manolas, Arsenal must move quickly for Evans if West Brom are relegated. The relegation release clause in Evans’ contract makes him extremely appealing and Arsenal will not be able to find another defender with Premier League winning experience for that kind of price, especially one who is arguably in the prime of their career.
Arsenal currently face a number of issues with their current crop of defenders, and the addition of Evans would go a long way to solving this. Kosceilny has faced trouble with his Achilles tendon for the last few years, requiring daily treatment, while Mustafi is prone to errors when he’s not paired beside an organiser at the back.
On top of this, Mertesacker is retiring, Chambers doesn’t seem to have Wenger’s trust, and Rob Holding is a long way off being a first team regular. With this in mind, Arsenal need a least one central defender, because despite the claims of impressionable, short sighted idiots, Nacho Monreal is not a central defender.
The Spaniard is one of Arsenal’s best defenders, and he thrived when Wenger experimented with three at the back. This system give him the freedom to play the ball out from the ball, gamble on interceptions and win the ball on the deck, whilst also having the security of two other defenders behind him.
In a back four, with two central defenders, Monreal does not have this security, and is often caught out. With Evans at the back, Arsenal would have a defender who is comfortable, vocal and able to organise Mustafi. He’s also Premier League proven, so settling in would not be an issue. For £3m, this is a steal, and Arsenal must make the move.