Arsenal’s search for a center back to pair up with Thomas Vermaelen has led them to French international and present Sevilla defender Sebastien Squillaci. The Spanish club confirmed that they had been approached by Arsenal but their present valuation of £8million were not met.
All sorts of speculation was set in motion as the player failed to show against Braga in the Europa Cup but the club website set the record right:
“The player asked not to play because of the offer from such a big team but, for the moment, we believe the offer is insufficient and Squillaci is still a Sevilla player,” said Sevilla sporting director Ramon Rodriguez.
Wenger is keen to replenish his side before the transfer period ends so a re-bid maybe in the works. Squillaci is in his final year of a three year contract signed in 2008 with Sevilla.
At 30 years, he is a bit long in the tooth but again this move is essentially a hold so that Laurent Koscielny and Havard Nordtviet can develop further.
Squillaci spent most of his early career in Monaco so it is safe to say that Wenger has been tracking him for sometime. At Monaco he formed a notable partnership with Gael Givet and in 2004, the club reached the UEFA Champions League final beating Real Madrid and Chelsea.
He was also part of the successful Lyon sides from 2006 to 2008 establishing himself at the back with Brazilian centerback Cris. From some of the scouting reports- his team mates describe him as “combative” which from an Arsenal standpoint is an excellent quality, demonstrates astute positioning ability (can he stop Didier Drogba?), and is a threat on set pieces through his headers (Arsenal look toothless in this department).
He also brings enough international experience with 20 caps for Les Bleus and made the trip to South Africa where he played 90 minutes against SA. Squillaci also comes away untainted from the Moliere like farce that enveloped the French team.