Teams are at risk of overlooking a potential problem area this summer as they focus on revamping their attack but do little to bolster their options in defence, despite obvious problems on the horizon.
One of the top centre-backs in Serie A, Kostas Manolas’ Roma future has looked in doubt at various points this summer, with links to both Chelsea and Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Neither move, however, worked out, so could there be a chance for Arsenal to swoop in for the Greece international now in a bid to bring in a proven and experienced performer at the back?
Roma’s sale of Antonio Rudiger to Chelsea could complicate things and make them more reluctant to lose another key defensive player, but Manolas is certainly well worth considering again for the Gunners.
Chelsea were strongly linked last summer, and Arsenal were reported as having enquired about him earlier in this transfer window, so is there still a chance of a move for Kalidou Koulibaly?
The Senegal international has been a rock for Napoli in his time at the club, though various reports in the past have suggested he could cost £60million or more to prise away from the club.
Wenger isn’t known for spending vast sums of money on most areas of his team, let alone defence, but as an ideal long-term replacement for Koscielny and Mertesacker, Koulibaly looks worth the investment.
Another former target for Arsenal and their Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United, Jose Gimenez has long been regarded as one of the best young centre-backs in the game.
The 22-year-old Uruguay international has become a vital member of Diego Simeone’s well-drilled side, and would arguably be an upgrade on any of Arsenal’s current defensive options.
Gimenez, however, is another player likely to be too expensive to be a particularly realistic target for the north Londoners for the moment, even if his arrival would represent the kind of ambition they should be showing in order to make the step up to being serious title contenders.