Why Arsenal should sign Raphael Varane

The 23-year-old reportedly wants to leave Real Madrid and Arsenal should swoop.

France's Raphael Varane in action

El Confidencial reported on Wednesday that Real Madrid could sell highly-rated defender Raphael Varane - and Arsenal should be first in line for his signature.

With Calum Chambers and Gabriel Paulista being unproven, Per Mertesacker aging and Laurent Koscielny still prone to the occasional error, the Gunners badly need a top-quality centre-back and Varane fits the bill.

France's Raphael Varane in action with England's Harry Kane

The 23-year-old would be expensive, but he'd also be worth it and if manager Arsene Wenger - entering into the final year of his contract - wants to ride off into the sunset next summer with one last Premier League title in his saddle then strengthening the defence is a must.

Arsenal's defence is not terrible - they conceded 36 times last season, the same amount as champions Leicester City - but it could be better, and it'll need to be.

With Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte coming into the Premier League, it's likely that Manchester United and Chelsea will be well-drilled defensive units and Wenger must strengthen if he wants the Gunners to compete with them.

Italy head coach Antonio Conte

In Varane, Arsenal would be signing an excellent central defender who would undoubtedly add a resilience to a back-four which never inspires the utmost confidence when two of Gabriel, Mertesacker or Koscielny are in it.

He has already played alongside Koscielny - easily Arsenal's best centre-half - with France which could enable him to hit the ground running in North London if Wenger were to swoop for him.

He emerged as one of Europe's best defenders under Mourinho at Real, and the Portuguese has been linked with bringing him to England again but, having already signed Eric Bailly for £30 million, Mourinho and United is one less thing Wenger would have to worry about if he really wanted Varane.

He has the need for Varane, and indeed the finance, but whether he spends it could be the difference between winning a first title since 2004.

Wenger, who has already spent over £30 million defensive midfielder Granit Xhaka, will also need a striker in all likelihood, but the emphasis should be on the defence. That's what'll cost them next term.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Gerard Houllier in the stands

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