Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Should Stop Chase for Ashley Williams This Summer

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIMay 20, 2013

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 04:  Ashley Williams during the Wales training session at Hensol Castle Park on February 4, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Having been linked with a potential move away from Swansea City, defender Ashley Williams has again reiterated his desire to stay at Liberty Stadium this summer.

The Welsh international captain had previously been linked with a potential move to North London over the transfer window, but he told Sky Sports that his focus was solely on Swansea, and that he fully expected to be playing with them next season.

As far as I know [I'll still be at the club next season]. I don't know anything about it, I just read it in the papers like everyone else. I play my football for Swansea City and now I'm just going away and looking forward to a holiday.

The season's been such that since the cup final we've had so much work to do that I haven't really thought about it. If somebody comes in and the club want to do that you have to sit down with the chairman and talk about it.

I can't really think about that at the moment, I play for Swansea City and I would never be disrespectful to the club, the fans and my team-mates.

That's it really, I can't say any more than that.

According to Transfermarkt, Williams was rated as a £5.3 million transfer target and would no doubt have been a strong addition to the Gunners' back line.

Williams was very impressive in central defense this year and was a huge reason behind Swansea's cup victory. He was strong in the air and on the ground, and with excellent passing skills and captaincy credentials, he was seemingly a very strong transfer prospect for any club to pursue.

However, without any real desire to leave Liberty Stadium, Arsenal would be wise to stop their chase for Williams this summer and focus on other prospects.

Not because Williams isn't worth it, but simply because they don't need him.

They are more than covered when it comes to central defenders.

Even with Thomas Vermaelen struggling at times this season, the North London club appeared to find a great combination in Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. The two have very different strengths, but they work very well together and combined well throughout the year. They became a dominant force in defense.

That was shown most clearly in their many clean sheets and the fact that they remain the only central pairing in word football this season to have stopped Bayern Munich from finding the back of the net.

Arsenal are therefore unlikely to sell either player this summer transfer window, and with Vermaelen the club captain, it seems unlikely they'll sell him in 2013.

Thus with three central defenders, there is no real need for another central defender—especially one that would want constant starting appearances and game time.

Arsenal have other needs in defense—namely in goals and at right-back—and they would be much better off pursuing those targets.

Especially given that Williams doesn't even want to leave Liberty Stadium this summer.

Just what interest Arsenal had in Williams is something we'll never know, but whatever desire there was, they would be smart to quickly end it this summer.


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