Arsenal considering January move for Manchester United defender - report

Arsene Wenger is reportedly pursuing Chris Smalling.

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are considering a January move for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.

The Gunners are said to have failed in a bid to bring the 24-year-old to north London over the summer, although Arsene Wenger has reportedly renewed his interest ahead of the January transfer window.

His main motivation? The recent injury to right-back Mathieu Debuchy, one that could keep the Frenchman out for up to three months.

Debuchy's absence leaves Arsenal short in defence, with young defenders Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin their main choices at right-back without him.

Chambers, however, has been deployed regularly at centre-back, another position in which the Gunners are short.

  TeamPosTackles Won/appInterceptions Won / appAerial Duels Won / appEffective Clearances / appAppsMins
Mathieu Debuchy Arsenal DF 2.50 1.75 5.75 7.00 4 351
Calum Chambers Arsenal DF 2.40 2.00 2.20 5.00 5 343
Nacho Monreal Arsenal DF 1.75 1.50 1.75 3.50 4 307
Chris Smalling Man Utd DF 1.50 1.50 3.50 4.00 2 134
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal DF 1.25 4.25 0.50 4.75 4 296
Per Mertesacker Arsenal DF 0.25 2.25 2.50 5.25 4 360

As Opta stats show, Smalling would not necessarily be an upgrade on any of Arsenal's current defenders by any means, although his ability to play both at centre-back or right-back could make him a useful acquisition for Wenger.

Debuchy's injury means a player that could solve two key areas of shortage might be seen as a priority for the Gunners in January, while Smalling can still improve on his underwhelming recent form as he is only 24.

Wenger recently brought another Manchester United player to the Emirates Stadium for £16 million in Danny Welbeck, who is 23. The striker opened his Arsenal account against Aston Villa yesterday.

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