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Perfect timing for Arsenal's Ignasi Miquel - But Spaniards want him

Will Arsenal keep Ignasi Miquel this summer?

The news Thomas Vermalen will be out for three months has certainly come as a blow to Arsenal, in fact only this week Arsene Wenger confirmed the defender would remain his captain for the season.

Now it has thrown a potential spanner in the works of the club's preparations and transfer plans, with the club needing to decide whether to buy another centre-back or not.

The club are attempting to sign a striker at present, with Luis Suarez their top target, and this is likely to be a distraction from that, even if just slightly.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for Ashley Williams, but at present the defender looks set to stay at Swansea having been offered the captaincy on a full-time basis.

So Arsene Wenger is likely to for now, assess his options during pre-season, already experimenting again with Bacary Sagna at centre-back, an option he was forced into away at Sunderland last season due to an injury crisis, and the Frenchman did not let him down.

With Carl Jenkinson and the emerging Hector Bellerin competition at right-back, Arsenal can certainly afford for Sagna to be their fourth choice in the middle.

A further argument against Arsenal signing a new centre-back, is hoping to finally make his breakthrough.

Ignasi Miquel has been at Arsenal since 2008, joining at 16 from the Barcelona academy. He has had sporadic opportunities, and while not disgracing the shirt, he has failed to grasp the mettle and make himself a reliable go-to option.

The physicality of English football has certainly been a challenge for him to adapt to, and it should be nothing to be ashamed of. Gerard Pique of Barcelona will no doubt recount one of his toughest games as the time when he was outfought in a loss to Bolton Wanderers while playing for Manchester United.

Miquel turns 21 at the end of September, and will want this year to show signs of progression. He has been handed a lifeline on the club's pre-season tour, and even scored in the 7-1 rout of Vietnam.

If Arsenal do not want him, a loan could be a possibility, but they would have to address the issue of his contract which expires in 2014.

Spanish side Real Sociedad are threatening to complicate matters, after it was reported by Mundo Deportivo that they hold a strong interest in the defender.

After signing Carlos Vela from the Gunners the clubs have good relations, and Sociedad, who they could meet in Champions League qualifying, have a substantial transfer pot after selling Asier Illarramendi to Real Madrid.

Arsenal could and will soon have a decision to make, but as long as Miquel continues to show what he can offer in pre-season, with Vermaelen out, this campaign could finally be his chance to fulfill his potential.

Does Miquel have a future at Arsenal? Let us know your opinion...

image: © wonker

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