Arsenal: Kostas Manolas move shows more Arsene Wenger brilliance

Arsene Wenger is looking at a busy summer (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Arsene Wenger is looking at a busy summer (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) /

Arsenal were in on Kostas Manolas, but seeing him make a tame move to Zenit is a reminder that Arsene Wenger yet again made the right choice.

Arsenal was in a situation last summer where they absolutely had to find a defender. They only had Laurent Koscielny healthy. Nobody else. There were several massive names that the Gunners were tracking, all were going to cost somewhere around £30m.

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Of those huge names, there were two that seemed more plausible than the rest: Kostas Manolas and Shkodran Mustafi.

Obviously we know which Wenger chose. Shkodran Mustafi came to the Gunners and showed that he was worth every penny. He was instrumental in their successes this year. No matter what situation he had to rise to, he almost always did.

And sure, there were hiccups, there were always going to be. Any player in the history of mankind has had his fair share of problems.

Now, one year later, Kostas Manolas is still at Roma, being “pursued” by the same old names that were pursuing him last summer. Which includes Arsenal, if you buy into the chatter, but I certainly don’t. The last thing the Gunners need is another defender.

But Manolas does appear to be on the move. And not to Chelsea, or Liverpool or any big time team. He is reportedly moving to Zenit St. Petersburg, where he will fade into obscurity.

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The move is said to be worth £26m, less than what the Gunners paid for Mustafi, which means that the contract isn’t exactly what is pulling the Greek defender to Russia.

I can’t help but think his stock has fallen considerably. Enough to make this one of the more appealing moves, which is equal parts baffling and enlightening. Enlightening in terms of how much we should be happy that Wenger opted for the German over the Greek.

Obviously we don’t know what might have been had Manolas come to North London instead. But between the two, Mustafi is currently rocking it out as our heir apparent to the defensive throne and Manolas is being linked to moves to Zenit.

That is a considerable difference and one that we should again look at and admire. Wenger made the right choice again, which he has been doing quite a bit with lately.

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Now let’s hope that same wherewithal can apply to the ongoing striker pursuit and who, between the two French candidates, is the right one.