There has been plenty of talk regarding Arsene Wenger and Arsenal's potential summer expenditure at the end of the season. The new £150million Emirates sponsorship deal has given Arsene Wenger the license to spend big this July.
One name linked with Arsenal has been Swansea City captain Ashley Williams. At 28 years old and for £10million+ it's not your typical Arsene Wenger deal. However – with a closer look, the deal makes perfect sense.
Paul Collins at The Daily Mail reported that Ashley Williams has held talks with Arsenal amidst a £12million move.
“Arsenal have moved ahead of Liverpool in the race to sign Ashley Williams after holding talks with the Swansea defender's representatives.”
“Arsene Wenger is desperate to strengthen at the back this summer and Sportsmail revealed last month that Williams is the Arsenal manager's top target.”
Arsenal have plenty of options in the heart of defence – Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and Sebastien Squillaci – but with Squillaci on his way out of the club at the end of the season, Koscielny reportedly being touted by Bayern Munich and club captain Vermaelen being scouted by Barcelona, it would make sense for Wenger to have some options available.
Although all fantastic footballers, the current Arsenal back line lack a physical bite in their approach. Long gone are the days of Bould, Adams, Keown, Campbell and Toure, where Premier League forwards would be scared to face Arsenal.
Williams – as shown by his physical approach to Manchester United forward and ex-Arsenal man Robin van Persie – has the necessary no-nonsense attitude that all Arsenal fans would love to see.
Average game statistics as of whoscored.com
AVG passing per game: 51
Pass Success Rate: 86.5%
Williams is a powerful, athletic defender who could excel with a partner like Laurent Koscielny. Both players are strong in the air, comfortable with the ball at their feet and like to play their way out of trouble. Where Ashley Williams would use his natural strength to attack the ball, Koscielny could use his pace to sweep up behind his defensive partner.
Behind Arsenal, Michael Laudrup's Swansea play the most attractive, expansive football in the Premier League. Meaning Williams would have no problem fitting in to Arsene Wenger's philosophy. Having been part of Swansea footballing style since 2008, its the only way Williams knows how to play.
Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen and Williams all range between 27-28 years old, so in signing the Swansea defender, Arsene Wenger would ensure his defence is full of experienced talent that are all capable and comfortable of defending in the Barclays Premier League.