Dutch defender is strong in the air, comfortable with the ball and would add leadership qualities to dressing room
VIRGIL VAN DIJK joining Arsenal would transform our transfer window from average to good.
The Gunners started the window well, signing Ligue 1’s top goalscorer Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac, voted the Bundesliga’s best left-back.
Both moves were sewn up before the club embarked on their pre-season tour of the Far East at the start of July.
But since then, Arsenal’s transfer dealings have fallen flat – with Monaco rebuffing three bids for Thomas Lemar, and interest in other targets not materialising.
Arsene Wenger has labelled the move for Lemar dead, citing Monaco’s sale of other key first-team targets as a blocker to doing business.
But Arsenal only have themselves to blame on this.
With a deal close and the player keen, the Gunners’ offers fell well short of the French Principalities valuation.
Despite this, Arsenal still have a chance to turn this transfer window, which initially looked like it would be a great one, into a good one after all.
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ROMELU LUKAKU has come in to 2/1 to finish as the Premier League top scorer.
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Harry Kane, who has NEVER scored a goal in August, is 2/1.
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Gabriel, Carl Jenkinson and Cohen Bramall have all left, while Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi’s futures remain in doubt, with the latter subject to serious interest from Inter Milan.
All of which leaves the door open for a new centre-back to arrive – and Arsenal’s No1 target in that space remains Van Dijk.
Gunners chiefs have reportedly met with the player and his representatives as a deal looms nearer.
The Dutchman was of interest to Wenger during his time at Celtic, however the Arsenal manager failed to make his move.
But with Saints unwilling to sell to Liverpool, and Van Dijk’s heart set on move to a club which can challenge for titles, a transfer to the Gunners may finally be possible.
Southampton have already ruled out selling the big defender.
But should they change their mind, they would be expecting a fee north of £50million for the Dutchman, 26, while a cash plus player deal has also been touted.
One thing for sure is that if Arsenal can do a deal for VVD before the window closes, it will add the much needed steel the spine of the side has needed.
Strong in the air and comfortable with the ball at his feet, Van Dijk has all the qualities this Arsenal team is crying out for, along with the strong leadership he will bring to the dressing room.
Wenger and his staff have a busy seven days ahead if they are to put together a squad capable of competing for honours, and the signing of Van Dijk could go a long way to helping them do just that.