Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger is aiming to make the most out the January transfer window and the London club, over the week, has been linked with several high-profile players from different corners of Europe. The latest rumor involves two highly talented Spaniards – center-back Raul Albiol and attacking midfielder Sergio Canales – currently serving at the La Liga in Spain.
Wenger is keen about bringing an experienced centre back to boost his defensive options and Raul Albiol’s experience and versatility at the back will be one of the reasons for the Gunners to bag the player this January. The move for Sergio Canales may see some difficulties and the Gunners may have to wait till next summer owing to the fact that the starlet is currently on a season-long loan at Valencia, where he has impressed thus far.
Wenger, however, will expect to land Albiol, 26, this January, if not Canales, as the London club is still seeking experience at the back. Per Mertesacker, whom the club purchased in August, has failed to meet the club’s expectations and is still trying to adjust to the Premier League way of life.
While French defender Laurent Koscielny has provided a faint glimpse of hope, key man Thomas Vermaelen still remains a big injury concern, and Sebastian Squillaci is expected to leave the Emirates Stadium. Swiss international Johan Djourou, currently, is being played as a right-back with Winger out of options.
The Gunners have conceded a shocking 21 goals in 10 Premier League matches, according to a Caughtoffside report.
Raul Albiol Tortajada, who is known for his versatility and the ability to play as a central defender, right-back or defensive midfielder, started his career with Valencia and made his La Liga debut in January, 2005 in a 1–1 home draw with Atletico de Madrid. Two months later, he scored against Real Madrid in a 2–1 home win.
Albiol joined Real Madrid on June 2009 for a fee thought to be in the region of €15 million and became the first Spanish player to be signed by Florentino Perez upon his return to the presidency. He scored his first goal for Los Blancos in December in a 3–1 Champions League win at Olympique de Marseille.
The Spaniard has made 131 appearances for Valencia and has scored five times. At Real, the player has only made 55 appearances, owing to the fact that the club bought another defender, Ricardo Carvalho.
Sergio Canales Madrazo, 20, who plays for Real Madrid as an attacking midfielder, is currently serving at Valencia on loan. The starlet started off at Racing de Santander, making his way to the top from the club’s youth ranks. He made his first team debut with Racing in September 2008 in a UEFA Cup home tie against Finnish club, FC Honka, which Racing won 1-0, and scored his first goal against RCD Espanyol in 2009 (4-0 away win).
Canales, who arrived at Real Madrid in February 2010 for a fee believed to be €4.5 million plus incentives, made his debut for Los Blancos and scored a goal in a 3–2 friendly win against Club America.