Wenger: Plugging defensive gaps a priority

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that shoring up his defence is his main priority this season.

The Gunners matched their closest rivals in terms of goals scored in 2008/09, with their 68 netbusters as good as both Premier League champions Manchester United and third-placed Chelsea.

However, the North London club were let down defensively in their 38 games, conceding 37 times, 13 more than United and Chelsea and 10 more than runners-up Liverpool.

Ivory Coast international Kolo Toure has departed the Emirates Stadium this summer for Manchester City, with Ajax stopper Thomas Vermaelen arriving in his place.

The Belgium international, who has won 21 caps for his country, enjoyed an impressive debut in the 6-1 romp of Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday, capping it with a goal.

But Wenger has revealed that his side must improve defensively this season if they are to seriously challenge for honours.

“We know that last year we conceded 37 goals and you cannot win the championship in England conceding 37 goals no matter how good you are going forward," he told the club's official website.

“That is something we have to address and correct compared to last year.”

Arsenal have been linked with Fulham centre-back Brede Hangeland, Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic and Stuttgart’s German international stopper Serdar Tasci in recent weeks.

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