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Arsenal have been strongly linked to Jonny Evans for the last 18 months, but is seems like the deal will go through this window after Manchester City turned their attentions to Aymeric Laporte. West Bromwich Albion have been demanding a fee in the region of £20m for the Northern Ireland central defender.
£20m for the defender isn’t a bad deal, even when you consider Evans has turned 30. Evans brings bags of experience, total professionalism and three Premier League winners medals. This experience is exactly what Arsenal need, and when you add it to the signings of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, Arsenal will be coming out of January in a much stronger position than they entered it.
Despite the clear value of a £20m deal, Arsenal have been playing hardball with West Brom, with rumours circulating of a £10m opening bid, plus Debuchy. This may seem insulting, but Pardew is a big fan of Debuchy – he brought him to Newcastle, where he went on to become France’s first choice right back in the 2014 World Cup.
Debuchy is still a very good player, and one that would bring vital experience to West Brom’s relegation dog fight. On top of that, there’s Jonny Evans’ £3m relegation release clause to take into consideration. If they go down, which could very well happen, Evans would be eligible to leave West Brom for a paltry £3m – a massive risk for a financially astute club, punching well above their weight.
With West Brom’s tight financial structure as well documented as their need for a striker, the club must surely be getting close to caving to Arsenal’s offer. £10m plus Debuchy gives them a player that can play at both right back and centre back, along with £10m to put towards the signing of Troy Deeney.
Goals have come at a premium for West Brom this season, and they will be crucial for keeping them in the Premier League. They currently sit three points off safety, and it’s difficult to see where the next win will come from. The money from Evans’ sale could be vital.
On top of Evans’ release clause, West Brom must also take his injury into consideration. Evans picked a hamstring injury on Saturday, which will likely keep him out for most of February, something that WBA cannot afford. Arsenal on the other hand, are willing to wait, and agreeing to their offer makes sense. Can West Brom afford to let their star man sit on the treatment table for four weeks, then lose him for £3m? Of course they can’t!