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Arsenal lose full-back to QPR but two new defenders to arrive shortly

| 30.08.2011

Arsenal are in talks with Werder Bremen and Fenerbache over moves that would see £16m worth of defenders arrive at the Emirates.

While Armand Traore becomes the latest Arsenal player to leave the sinking ship – his move to Queens Park Rangers has been completed today – Bremen’s Per Mertesacker and Fenerbache’s Andre Santos are confident of guiding Arsenal in the right direction.

Brazilian international Santos is at Arsenal for a medical ahead of a £6m move from Fenerbache, and the 28-year-old would certainly add some experience to a young Arsenal defence.

Likewise the 26-year-old Mertesacker who has 75 caps for Germany, and the German’s experience alongside Thomas Vermaelen would mean very few, if any, embarrassing results like the one last Sunday against Manchester United.

Mertesacker is in London ahead of a medical and Bremen and Arsenal have come to an agreement on a fee for the German international and it looks increasingly likely both he and Santon will be confirmed as Arsenal players today.

It’s a step in the right direction for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger who has abandoned his policy of signing young players with moves for the two experienced defenders, and it seems the 8-2 drubbing has refocused the Arsenal manager’s mind.

Following Sunday’s drubbing Arsenal have been pushed out to 33/1 to win the title and having taken one point from three games, it’s easy to see why.

Except slow starts aren’t uncommon by Premier League champions – Manchester United took just two points from their first three games in their 2007/2008 title-winning season – and Arsenal’s drift may be an overreaction from the bookies.

In Mertesacker and Santos Arsenal are buying experience, something they are in desperate need of and Sir Alex Ferguson, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Mancini won’t be writing Arsene Wenger’s men off just yet.

At 6/4 to finish in the top four, Arsenal are looking a very tempting bet and we can expect a intriguing battle between them and Liverpool this season.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.