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Moneybags Arsenal have Newcastle defender on their radar

| 08.06.2013

It would be less time consuming to state the players who haven’t been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks, as rumours of a transfer war chest brimming with cash have prompted many to believe the Gunners will spend big this summer.

Whether this somewhat outlandish notion materialises into anything more than speculation remains to be seen, but reinforcing the backline appears to be one of Arsene Wenger’s top priorities.

On a quest to end his sides’ extensively documented eight-year trophy drought, Wenger is said to be interested in Newcastle defender, Steven Taylor.

The Frenchman is keen to establish a bedrock of British players at the club and, with Thomas Vermaelen expect to depart the north Londoners having lost his place towards the end of last season, Wenger might not even have to dent Arsenal’s supposedly hefty bank balance in order to acquire his services.

Taylor’s form last term earned him a rare call up to the England squad and he was one of the few consistent performers in a very disappointing previous campaign for the Tynesiders.

His commanding presence and no-frills approach to defending is something the Gunners backline has been bereft of since the days of Sol Campbell and would be welcome assets should they land this target.

However, aside from any financial stumbling blocks, his lack of ability on the ball may convince Wenger to pursue other leads in favour of having to alter their style of play to accommodate his inclusion.

Whether Taylor himself, a lifelong Newcastle fan who has been at the club since the age of nine, would be prepared to sacrifice almost guaranteed first team football next season in favour of a likely bit-part role at Arsenal remains to be seen.

With Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker providing a solid platform for their sides’ overhauling of Tottenham in last season’s Champions League race, it seems unlikely Wenger will deviate from this pairing at the beginning of the new campaign.

Similarly, as decent a player as Taylor is, he isn’t of sufficient calibre to get the Gooners’ juices coursing, nor is he of the standard to elevate the club to a level akin to that of the Premier League and Europe’s elite.

With their current defensive line up, Arsenal are 14/1 to win next season’s title, though this could shorten should Wenger open fire with the cash-dispensing hose.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton