Just when Manchester United are reportedly weighing up a bid of about £32m for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, Arsenal have also joined in the race for the coveted defender. According to Daily Mail, Arsenal to have earmarked Mats Hummels as a key defensive option in January and Arsene Wenger doesn’t seem to be affected by the outrageous fee that the German outfit are asking for their man.
At the Annual General Meeting last week, the Arsenal manager highlighted his frail defence being the major problem affecting his squad’s performance and has now requested financial backing to invade Dortmund in the New Year. It is more than obvious that the Gunners lacked a defensive pad in their last game against Hull City when they missed the trio of Laurent Koscielny, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy. With the dire situation, Wenger had to pair up Per Mertesacker with Nacho Monreal who is normally deployed in the left-back as centre-backs while Hector Bellerin got into the starting line-up as an interim right back.
This development will surely start up a bidding war between the Gunners and their Manchester based rivals. While he was fielding questions from reporters last week, a former Manchester United star John O’Shea said “I could definitely recommend them Mats Hummels from Germany. It seems to be that he doesn’t want to leave Germany. But you never know, there are always different incentives that Manchester United can offer to change that. But he was very good last night.”
The fact that Mats Hummels has continually insisted that he has no plan of ditching his German employers and has also emphasised that even if he does decide to switch, it will be because he likes the club’s pattern of play and not for financial gains. This statement makes the tie much stronger between Wenger and van Gaal as both managers play a free flowing attack based pattern which is similar to what Hummels is used to with his German employers, and also with finances not being a restricting factor on both sides, we could expect a serious show down by January.
However, Louis van Gaal has to step up his game and convince Hummels to consider a switch to Manchester. If he gets him, then even the attackers can heave a sigh of relieve knowing fully well that they could rely on the versatility of such a seasoned defender. Mats will also provide the much needed leadership and tutelage that is currently lacking at Old Trafford. Manchester United currently have two youth team defenders in Tyler Blacklet and Paddy McNair, both of whom could use a leadership figure such that Hummels can provide in their developmental process.