Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk has handed in a transfer request at St. Mary’s and so far, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City have all been linked with the want away centre-half and former Arsenal star, Ian Wright feels that the Gunners should swoop in. Wright told BBC that Arsenal hasn’t made too many signings that get the people talking, players who can lead Arsenal in the future.
He added “At some stage during the season they’re going to need those players and that is where the test is going to come.
“I would have definitely tried to get Van Dijk. I would be going in very strong.”
In 55 games for the Saints, Van Dijk has a 76% tackle accuracy with an average of 43 passes meaning he can be a useful ball playing centre-half. Arsenal currently have Koscielny and Mustafi as the first choice with Mertesacker only making a handful of appearances last season.
Liverpool has been linked with him all summer, with Southampton having lodged a complaint with FIFA over illegal attempts by the Merseyside club but now speculation is mounting that the central defender, who made only 21 appearances for the Saints last season could force a move to Anfield.
Wright also expressed his surprise over Arsene Wenger’s transfer policy by questioning the call to not move for Nemanja Matic, who signed for Man Utd from Chelsea.
“To see that Matic has left Chelsea and gone to Manchester, can you persuade him to stay in London? He’s in London, he’s settled, can you get him to come to Arsenal because that is what Arsenal need. That player. That type of player.”
I think that Arsenal have had a few issues with defensive pairing in last few years with injuries and suspensions to key players and Van Dijk would certainly be a good addition to the squad, providing in strength in depth and good defensive cover for Koscielny and Mustafi, although he won’t be there just to warm the bench and could provide some serious competition to the aforementioned incumbents in the heart of Arsenal’s defense. The chances of this deal going through are slim but could be one that could lead the Gunners to the title.
[Source: The Mirror Football, Premier League]