I guess it was somewhat inevitable that after a couple of home defeats against Dortmund and Chelsea, critics would start circling around Arsene Wenger and plot just who the Frenchman should be looking to add to his squad during the January window. With Mertesacker and Koscielny firmly established as the first choice pairing at centre back, it’s been widely touted that Belgian Thomas Vermaelen may be looking for an exit in the new year to firm up his chances of making the national squad for the Brazil World Cup in the summer. If this happens, the Gunners could be a little bereft in that position. The answer however may lie across the east end of London.
New Zealander Winston Reid is the sort of no-nonsense, no-frills centre back who gets the job done quietly and efficiently. A consistent eight out of ten player, who rarely turns in a bad performance, he’s the sort of rock around which to build a defence. It’s certainly a tack that has paid dividends for Sam Allardyce at West Ham United, but if the rumours floating around in the press over the past few days are true, Allardyce may have a battle to hang on to the player.
There’s little doubt that Allardyce would not welcome any approach for the player, and would certainly be reluctant to let him leave. The Hammers have done well under the stewardship of Big Sam, and after gaining promotion, have stabilised their position in the top echelon with relative comfort. You have to wonder however how much more potential for improvement there is in the squad without big money being spent.
It may seem a harsh thing to say, but for a club such as West Ham, a mid-table position is probably all they can reasonably expect, with perhaps a decent cup run thrown in now and again. Fluctuating in that middle band between say eighth and fifteenth is a highly creditable position, but if a player in the squad gets offered the opportunity to play Champions’ League football, it would surely be a tempting proposition.
Clearly, there’s no definitive information regarding any pursuit by the Gunners at this stage, but as the season wears on, and should talk of a Vermaelen exit grow, Reid could just be the man for Arsenal.