Arsenal transfer rumors: Gary Cahill the stopgap needed?

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Gary Cahill of Chelsea looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group L match between Chelsea and Vidi FC at Stamford Bridge on October 4, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Gary Cahill of Chelsea looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group L match between Chelsea and Vidi FC at Stamford Bridge on October 4, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) /

Arsenal’s preseason has begun and it is very apparent that this club still needs a lot of help defensively. Could Gary Cahill be the temporary solution?

Arsenal’s 2019 preseason tour of the United States has officially kicked off with fans already getting a really good look at the academy players who have traveled with the first team this summer.

Even though it’s just the beginning of a long preseason, we were given a bit of a look at what some of our “fringe players” could offer us this season. It became even more apparent that defense should be the main focus of our transfer business.

Great performances from Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Tyreece John-Jules and a debut appearance by Gabriel Martinelli showed fans that there is a bright future in Arsenal’s attack behind the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette. On top of the attackers, Arsenal seems to have their central midfielder of the future in Joe Willock.

If their performances and development continue to improve as they have, we should be looking at a very exciting attack at Arsenal for quite some time. But that still leaves a glaring hole in our backline. There have been plenty of defensive connections with Arsenal this transfer window but the Laurent Koscielny situation has only escalated things further.

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On a more positive note, it looks as though William Saliba has chosen Arsenal over Tottenham, according to David Ornstein. The Saliba news will have definitely eased the nerves of fans everywhere and will feel especially nice seeing that the player seems to have chosen Arsenal over fierce rivals Spurs.

However, the supposed deal for Saliba was only agreed to by St. Etienne if Saliba remained at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on loan for another season. While Arsenal might have secured a deal for their center back of the future, it does not help them in the present and still leaves them lacking quality center backs entering the new season.

Rob Holding will miss the beginning of the season as he still recovers from injury, having just practiced with the first team for the first time in Los Angeles. Laurant Koscielny’s situation doesn’t seem to have a solution in sight and his position at Arsenal seems highly in doubt at this point. With Shkodran Mustafi no longer in Emery’s favor, that leaves Sokratis as the only senior center back trusted by Emery, with Mavropanos and Chambers fighting for positions if they are still with Arsenal come the close of the window.

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That is not the kind of depth that will work next season at Arsenal and will most likely mean that Mustafi stays and plays a big role this coming season, unless the Gunners can bring in a player to help them through.

An easy solution to this issue could already be living in London and contains a vast amount of experience in the Premier League and European leagues. His name is Gary Cahill. Cahill has over 300 appearances in the Premier League, winning the competition twice, and also having the experience of winning the Europa and Champions League, as well as three domestic cups.

Add his 61 appearances for the English national team into the mix and Cahill has the experience and leadership needed to help them through their youth revolution. An added bonus to his vast experience is that his contract with Chelsea came to an end last season and he is currently looking for a new team.

He would therefore come at no cost, and Cahill could be persuaded to join seeing the current situation at center back, and the fact that he wouldn’t have to go through a major move at this point in his career.

Despite the fact that Cahill will turn 34 years old this season, he could prove to be the perfect stopgap at center back for just this season. But if given a contract longer than just a season, he could provide invaluable experience to Saliba next year and could help groom the young Frenchmen into one of the best defenders in the league.

With the club looking likely to bring in Saliba, Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid, an “expensive” winger, and Kieran Tierney from Celtic, Arsenal will have limited funds still left available and Gary Cahill on a free would solve multiple issues.

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If Arsenal is able to swoop up an exciting center back transfer at an affordable price before the window closes in a few weeks, I’m all for it. But if not, they should seriously take a look at signing Cahill to help in the immediate future.