In one of the most inactive days in the transfer market, the major news snip was the rejection of Arsenal’s bid of £10 million for Phil Jagielka, by Everton. Arsene Wenger has been an ardent admirer of Jagileka, who has been one of the best players for the Merseyside club in the last four years. He had made a bid last summer as well for the same player which was turned down.
Everton rejected the bid as it was too small for a player who is valued somewhere closer to the £20 million mark. Jagielka signed a four year contract with the club from Liverpool and has not commented on his interests about the move.
It is not a big secret that Arsenal have had defensive frailties. The club has conceded defended well as a whole but that is mainly due to their attacking philosophy and the fact that they have most of the possession in most of the games. However, they do possess a soft side and have not liked it, when they are rubbed hard.
Arsene Wenger, who has managed strong defenders like Tony Adamas, Martin Keown and Sol Campbell before, has recently changed his philosophy on the type of defenders. He has gone for ball playing defenders, liberos, instead of the typical British defenders. That brought the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Sebastian Squillaci and Koscielny to the team. However, the Arsenal manager seems to have realized that the squad needs at least one hard defender.
He openly admitted that the priority this summer was to bring a tall defender into the team. The Arsenal supporters breathed a sigh of relief as their manager had finally seen what the rest of the football world had seen for the past five years. The main targets were Gary Cahill and Jagielka and Chris Samba and from this bid it is clear that the Frenchman rates Jagielka higher than the others.
Jagielka will easily fit into the Arsenal mode. He is an exceptional defender and has displayed calmness over the years. However, it will be hard for any defender coming into the Arsenal team as the club does not have a strong central midfielder. Jagielka is used to playing behind a defensive midfield and coped easily whenever there was an attack, as he hardly had to move out of position.
That anyway is a long way away, as Wenger is a long away from buying Jagielka from Everton.