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Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal will regret not signing Virgil Van Dijk in the summer.
Van Dijk was linked with almost all of England’s top clubs in the summer and Arsenal weren’t left out. Although Liverpool were mostly linked with the defender, it was thought that Arsenal would have been amongst the club trying to sign him had Southampton decides to sell.
The defender eventually remained at Southampton, despite his best attempts to force through a move and Carragher believes it is Arsenal that would suffer the most for missing out on the defender.
The former Liverpool captain believes Wenger’s decision not to strengthen the centre back position has all but ended our chances of winning the league title.
“Arsenal haven’t improved at the back since last season,” said Carragher, as quoted by the Daily Cannon.
“If you want to be successful, you have to have a strong defensive unit. But that’s what has let Arsenal down. Arsenal conceded 44 goals last season and that is far too many. You must aim to concede less than a goal a game, then that gives you a chance to challenge for the title.
“Just look at the last three champions: Chelsea last season [33 goals against], Leicester  and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in 2015 . This is why I was very surprised Arsenal didn’t bring another centre-back in, especially as they are going to play three at the back a lot more.
“Arsenal and Chelsea wanted to sign Van Dijk. The £60- £70million fee talked about was an awful lot and shows there is a dearth of centre-backs. If you want a player of that quality, you have to pay it. If you don’t, maybe you don’t achieve the targets you have set for the club. Southampton didn’t sell Van Dijk, but Chelsea still went and brought in Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen and added to what they had.”
I was always of the opinion that we would need at least one new top class centre back if Wenger wants to continue playing with three at the back but the manager opted not to do anything in that regards.
Playing Nacho Monreal who isn’t a centre back by trade in such crucial position in the big games could be suicidal and why the boss refused to think about this is beyond me.
However, I disagree with Carragher’s claims that we can’t win the league title because we didn’t sign a new CB. Should we perform well as a team, we have a good chance of winning the league come May next year.