Wenger targets new defender

ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger intends to sign a top-class defender this summer after admitting his side’s performances at the back last season were “average”.

The Gunners conceded 41 goals in the league last season compared to second-placed Manchester United’s 28 – a factor which Wenger believes went a long way to ensuring a fifth successive season without a trophy.

Now the Frenchman is on the look out for a centre half in the mould of Thomas Vermaelen, who made a huge impact in his first season at the Emirates, with Fulham’s Brede Hangeland thought to be high on his list of targets.

But Wenger’s criticism will not please William Gallas, who now looks set to leave the club on a free transfer this summer.

The boss said: “If you divide the season into two – going forward we have done very well but defensively we have been average. When you concede 40 goals you don’t win the championship and I want to rectify that.

“My transfer policy this summer will be to keep our strengths going forward, add one player, and add more defensive strength to our team.”

Wenger also believes his side need to rectify their average away form next season if they are to make a serious bid for the title next season.

“We had a good home season,” he added. “We were disappointed to lose the two big home games against Manchester United and Chelsea but overall at home we did everything that was required of us.

“Away we had periods where we were strong and others when were vulnerable, especially recently.”