Why Scott Dann can be the answer to Arsenal's defensive problems
Scott Dann may just have come to many Arsenal fans' attention in the last few weeks but the classy defender has long been considered a star of the future in the Midlands.
Now that may not be saying much, but being based in Birmingham, I've witnessed Dann's reputation deservedly grow around these parts since first establishing himself in the Walsall team back in 2006-07 in League Two.
The quiet Scouser only made 52 first team starts for the Saddlers before he was snapped up by Coventry in 2008 for a fee of around £1million.
The Sky Blues, whose chairman was then Ray Ranson, a former professional football himself, always considered Dann an investment which would handsomely pay off eventually.
Now the board at cash-strapped Championship Coventry are anxiously awaiting Dann's imminent transfer after wisely insisting on a sell-on clause when he moved to Birmingham for £3.5m two summers ago.
Dann has quite simply been a huge success at Birmingham in the Premier League where he was virtually an ever-present as the club came ninth in 2009-10.
And if he had been at a more glamorous, London club, Dann would surely have got international recognition with England by now.
For while Dann is a very quiet softly-spoken character off the pitch, he is tenacious, determined and classy on the pitch.
It is no coincidence Brum's slump down the Premier League, which ended in relegation, coincided with Dann's serious injury at West Ham in January which split up his fine partnership with Roger Johnson.
Dann, 24, has not played a competitive game since rupturing his hamstring at Upton Park which required surgery.
But signing him would not be a gamble by any top-flight club after he matured at St Andrews under the tutelage of boss Alex McLeish, an ex-defender himself.
And potential suitors like Arsenal and Liverpool (and I've personally heard he is off to the Emirates) could get a bargain due to Birmingham's cash problems.
I wrote back on June 28 that City's Carling Cup winning-team would be totally ripped up due to Birmingham's financial problems following relegation.
Now Brum's cash woes, exacerbated by owner Carson Yeung's arrest on money-laundering charges in Hong Kong, are hitting home with just six of City's team and subs from Wembley left at the club and that number will decrease further before the window shuts.
Dann had the chance to go to Stoke back in June but the Potters, despite agreeing a fee, were unable to finalise personal terms with the defender, who asked for £35,000-a-week.
Dann did not rush into signing for Stoke as he had confidence in ability that other better offers would come in.
Now his ambitions are set to be rewarded with a move to a much bigger club like Arsenal as I reported on Saturday after hearing Brum's bank HSBC had demanded his sale .
I don't think he will look out of place at Arsenal either and back Dann to rise to the challenge.
He is comfortable on either foot, good in the air and distributes the ball well.
I think him and Thomas Vermaelen would make a formidable, mobile partnership and wish him all the best back in the Premier League.