Three questions and reaction to Arsenal's Smalling links

Chris Smalling

We pose three questions that an Arsenal move for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling would provoke and sum up the reaction to the rumours.

Reports have surfaced that Manchester United's Chris Smalling has been identified as a potential target for Arsenal. 

The English defender is reportedly on Arsene Wenger's wishlist, as the Gunners boss feels that he is someone who could add quality to his line-up. 

In this piece we bring you three questions and reaction to this rumour. 

Do Arsenal need Smalling? 

Arsenal have had a major problem at centre-back this season, of that there can be no question, but it is unlikely that Smalling is the answer to their current problems. 

Wenger should have brought in a natural central defender during this summer's transfer window, but this buy would seem slightly reactionary. 

At the moment Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are the only two centre-backs in Arsenal's squad and, with both having been out for periods of the campaign, Wenger's men have had a problem. 

Nacho Monreal and Calum Chambers have been used as cover at the heart of the Gunners' defence, but they are both full-backs and neither have looked comfortable.

It means that Arsenal most certainly do need to buy a central defender in the near future, but bringing in an out-of-form one would be a major risk. 

Can he have as big an impact as Welbeck?

The natural comparison to make with Smalling, if he were to join Arsenal, would be with the transfer of Danny Welbeck.

Welbeck relocated to the Emirates Stadium from Manchester United on deadline day, proving that Louis van Gaal's men are happy to do business with one of their rivals for a place in the top four.

The striker has been in fine form since and he has already established himself as an important member of Arsene Wenger's first-team squad. 

However, Smalling is unlikely to have such a big impact as he would have far more of a rotational role.

Welbeck has become the main man to lead the line up-front at Arsenal since joining up, but Smalling would be used far more sparingly by Wenger.

How much potential does Smalling actually have?

This has been the question on every United supporters' lips for some time now.

Smalling joined the club as an inexperienced teenager, but he has never really progressed during his time at Old Trafford.

The England international is now 24 and can no longer be treated as a youngster, meaning he will have to start showing signs of class soon. 

Smalling's time at Old Trafford could well be coming to an end if he doesn't, but it seems unlikely that his next destination will be North London.

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