Arsenal have been linked with Montpellier’s Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa for a while now, and given the occasionally desperate situation Arsene Wenger’s side are in at the moment, they’ll be looking for some urgent quality signings in January.
Born in The Central African Republic, his career has progressed at such a fast pace, that currently at the age of just 23, he has already captained his side to a Ligue 1 title last season, had three full caps for France and been linked with other top clubs such as Chelsea and AC Milan.
There is no doubt that the French centre-back is a quality player, but do the Gunners really need another defender in his position? Yes, they are languishing too many points behind leaders Manchester United, but they have shown that their back four are not the main problem, by conceding fewer than all but two teams – letting in a respectable 16 goals in 15 league games.
Not all has been bad for Arsenal however, as they are only one of two English teams left in the Champions League; they have a favourable draw in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup and are obviously still in the FA Cup. So if they are to salvage anything this season, it is likely that the club owners will bolster up their side as soon as possible in order to get their hands on one of those prizes.
There are a number of reasons why Arsenal should attempt to sign the youngster, as he could be sold on the cheap due to the fact he continuously refuses to extend his contract – which expires in 2015. The fact that Montpellier have now been eliminated from the Champions League could also signal the end of their association with the youth team graduate.
Despite Arsenal wanting to get rid of current centre-backs Johan Djourou and Sebastien Squillaci, they still boast the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. What they do need in defence is perhaps a left-back, and although Yanga-Mbiwa is adept to playing across the back four, it is not his preferred position.
Their main targets should involve looking for a striker, goalkeeper and, as mentioned a left-back. He could become one of Europe’s top defenders, but despite Arsenal leading the chase to sign him, Yanga-Mbiwa is just not presently needed at The Emirates.