It looks like the elusive centre back is finally on the way though with reports coming out of Spain that Arsenal have finally agreed a price with Valencia for German international Shkodran Mustafi. The fee being bandied about is somewhere around the €40 million mark and it's an awful lot to pay for a defender. Unfortunately the transfer market has gone mad this summer and it's the going rate for a player of his ability and standing.
With both Per Merresacker and Gabriel Paulista injured the need for a central defender was pressing and hopefully it will be money well spent. He should make himself a first choice in the team alongside Laurent Koscielny and it's a signing which was needed whether Mertesacker and Gabriel were injured or not. Mertesacker is nearing the end of his career and the jury is still out on Gabriel, so the imminent arrival of Mustafi has to be welcomed.
With the central defensive issue finally looking solved the club seem to be moving quickly to bring in a striker. Reports from Spain again would seem to suggest Arsenal have jumped ahead of Everton in the queue and are about to wrap up the signing of Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna. He's not exactly the international superstar we were clambering for, but needs must and there aren't too many strikers out there who are available.
With Danny Welbeck out until the new year and Theo Walcott looking like anything but a striker the only option besides Olivier Giroud is Chuba Akpom and the manager clearly doesn't fancy him just yet at least. I can't say I'm over impressed by Perez's scoring record to date, but he made a pretty good fist of it last season with just short of a goal every two games. He's had his fair share of clubs for a 27 year old and not all of them have worked out, but we have to hope we have signed him just as he's about the make his career breakthrough.
He's not going to be first choice of course with Giroud still occupying that role, but he will get to fill in for him at times or maybe come off the bench to replace him. There's also the possibility of the two of them playing together if the boss decides to change his tactics or we're chasing a game. Like any new player he has to be given a chance to settle in and hopefully the current atmosphere won't affect him or any of the other players for that matter.
I know neither of these players are actually signed yet and everything I have just written could be to no avail, but it does look like they are going to happen. With the close of the transfer window still nearly a week away it's very early for Arsenal to tie down these deals, but I'm certainly not complaining about that. There's still the possibility of more players arriving, but I would be very surprised if we see any more arrivals.
I would imagine the boss will have to sit down and take a deep breath if he has indeed brought his summer spending to €100 million. These two players might not have been our first choices at the start of the summer, but I think Mustafi in particular looks like he could be a great addition to the team. I doubt if anything will be tied up in time for us to see them play at Watford on Saturday, but they should be raring to go after the international break as long as we do actually sign them.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.