Virgil van Dijk Would be an Ideal Signing for Arsenal

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Although the Gunners are coming off a massive victory against Manchester City at the weekend, a match that the team’s much scrutinized defense was impeccable, the north London club is still in need of an additional defender to add to the squad.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made it perfectly clear that he wishes to sign a defender (specifically a center-back) during this month’s transfer window. Speaking on the subject, the Frenchman recently stated, “It is risky (not to sign anyone) – too risky.”

Wenger also claimed that finding the right player, along with convincing another club to sell a top player midseason isn’t the easiest situation. Wenger said, “It is not a supermarket where you go in and buy a defender. It is a market that is very restricted. The players who can strengthen the best 10 teams in Europe, you don’t find many and it is the same for everybody.”

“We are a big attraction, of course we are. If it was easy, we would do it. We have made enquiries but then you have the second handicap. Who wants to sell their best player, especially a central defender, in the middle of the season? They say, ‘come back in June or July’.”

One of these clubs that appear reluctant to sell their best center-back is Celtic. Their 23-year-old star in defense, Virgil van Dijk, is attracting interest from all over the world (including nearly half of the Premier League’s clubs), however, because the Hoops are currently in a battle for the top spot in the Scottish Premiership, as well as three other competitions, the Scottish giants want desperately to keep van Dijk for the remainder of the season.

Van Dijk has addressed Arsenal’s interest and has not shied away from the possibility of joining the north London club. The former Netherlands youth international has said, “I am now 23 and have played at Willem II, FC Groningen and Celtic and am now linked to clubs like Arsenal. Isn’t that great?”

“There are a lot of clubs interested, but Celtic is holding onto a big transfer fee. The club is clear: they don’t want to let me go in the winter, because we’re playing for four trophies.”

“I understand the point of view from the club and I see it as a compliment that they don’t want to let me go. But we have to be realistic. If there’s a nice club from England, we have to talk. I want to develop myself as a player, that’s for sure.”

The “big transfer fee” that the player mentioned is reportedly in the neighborhood of £10 million (around $15 million). While that is surely not chump change, the 23-year-old player has what it takes to be a world-class defender in the near future.

Van Dijk has the right size (6’4”), strength, composure, technique, and offensive capabilities from set pieces (as seen here) to fit seamlessly into the Arsenal team. With current starting center-back Per Mertesacker (30) not getting any younger and struggling with form during the first half of the season, Wenger and the rest of the Arsenal brass need to take a serious look at bringing in a promising younger defender, and van Dijk should be their top choice.

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