Victories continue to evade Arsenal in the seasons’ opening exchanges, with their 1-1 draw against Tottenham last time out the fourth instance in which they’ve failed to prevail in the Premier League already.
The shared north London spoils has left the Gunners six points behind trailblazing Chelsea who sit the summit after a half-dozen of games.
For many, it’s Arsene Wenger’s lack of defensive options responsible for their shortcomings, but the Sunday Express reports that the Frenchman is looking address this.
He’s taken a particular liking to Malaga’s Vitorino Antunes apparently, a name that won’t ring familiar in the ears of many.
But fear not unaware Gooners, the news.bwin.com/en/ microscope has been removed from the cupboard and we’ve put the La Liga stopper under out x400 lens.
The Portuguese left-back is said to be available for £2.5m with his contract entering it’s final 18 months, but it’s not just his price that will appeal to Wenger.
Formerly of Roma, the eight-cap international is lauded for his adventurous approach to manning the defensive flanks and is an impressive set piece taker.
He was a fixture in the Malaga team last term, starting 36 times in the league, assisting two goals and averaging just shy of one key pass per outing.
Antunes’ defensive figures make for respectable reading too.
His tackles and interception means per game finished at 2.2 and 2.4 for the 2013/14 campaign, which dwarf the figures managed by Nacho Monreal, the man he’d likely be replacing in the Arsenal ranks.
The last player Wenger signed from Malaga and Kieran Gibbs’ understudy averaged just 1.3 and 1.1 tackles and interceptions across the 24 times he graced a Premier League pitch in the previous vintage.
He picked up a solitary assist too, while his key pass average was also inferior at 0.5.
For such a minor outlay, Antunes appears to have the ability to avoid being ranked alongside the worst additions Wenger has made to his Arsenal defence, which, incidentally, is 6/5 to keep a clean sheet against Galatasaray next.