The January transfer window is fast approaching, and Arsenal still have a large sum of money available to buy new players. Their dealings from last summer left some money in the kitty, and they also managed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. If the rumours are to be believed, Arsenal could have as much as €50 million to spend on strengthening their squad.
With so much money available to Arsene Wenger, there are plenty of rumours about which players Arsenal might attempt to sign. I will attempt to assess the relative chances of some of the players linked with Arsenal actually joining the club in this article.
Arsene Wenger attempted to sign Mario Gotze when Cesc Fabregas left Arsenal last summer; but he failed with a late bid for the German playmaker. The transfer window reopens in a matter of days, and Arsenal are yet again linked with Borussia Dortmund's young protege.
Arsenal have managed to turn their season around since their early-season troubles, but the team is still short of a natural playmaker in my opinion. Gotze looks to have all the attributes needed to play that role at the very highest level, and Arsenal fans would be delighted to see the club make a move for his services.
It's impossible to know if Dortmund would be prepared to sell their prize asset, but Arsenal must surely enquire about his services. If they are going to seriously challenge the pacemakers in the Premier League they will need to add some real quality to their squad, and Gotze ticks all the right boxes.
When Thierry Henry left Arsenal for Barcelona in 2007, he was the record goal-scorer for them. He has since moved on to play his football with the New York Red Bulls, and he is currently training with Arsenal during the MLS offseason. He has always expressed his love for Arsenal, and there is no denying that the Arsenal fans feel the same way about him.
Arsenal have the top scorer in the Premier League so far this season in their squad, but Robin van Persie has had his troubles with injuries over the years. If he was to get injured Arsenal's chances would be severely hampered, as their other options in that position are limited to say the least. The prospect of Henry returning on loan for a couple of months is a very real one, and the rumours of his possible return will not go away.
Henry might be past his very best, but he still has an awful lot to offer the team in my opinion. If his inclusion could help to take some pressure off RVP, and offer Arsenal a chance to rest him when needed it would be of huge benefit to the club. I'm sure the Arsenal fans would be delighted to see their record goal-scorer take the field in red and white yet again.
Jan Vertonghen is a defender who can play in any of the positions across the defence of almost any team. He has been in great form for both Ajax and the Belgian national team, and Arsenal are in dire need of defensive reinforcements at the moment. All four of their fullbacks are currently out injured, and a player of Vertonghen's ability would be a huge asset to the team.
The rumours of Vertonghen joining Arsenal persist still, and if the club are to move for him it would have to be very soon. Arsenal won't have any of their fullbacks available for at least another month, and the team is suffering at the moment as a result. The inclusion of a player who can play on either side of the defence would be a great boost to the team, and the fans would be happy to see him join, too.
If Arsenal are to reclaim a top-four place they need to add some quality to the team and the squad, and there is no doubting Vertonghen's quality.
Lukas Podolski seems to have rediscovered some form this season, and the rumours of Arsenal's interest in him abound. He's still only 26 years old, and he has a lot to offer if his talents can find the right platform. Arsenal have only Marouane Chamakh and Park Ju-Young as backups to Robin van Persie, and neither player has set the club alight when they have played.
There are rumours of Chamakh departing in January; and Park hasn't played one single minute in the Premier League since joining the club in August. Arsenal could do with a striker who can step straight into the team when RVP is rested or injured, and Podolski could be the man to do just that. He may not be prepared to join a club that will only see him as a reserve, though.
Arsenal fans would be delighted to see a player of Podolski's undoubted class join the club, as it would be an other pointer to the club moving in the right direction. The difficult part could be getting FC Koln to depart with their prize asset.
Alexandre Pato has fallen down the pecking order at AC Milan recently, and there are rumours that Arsenal intend spending a large amount of their substantial transfer kitty on him. He's still only 21 years old, but his purchase would certainly show some real ambition from Arsenal. He's a player who would ideally like to play as a central striker, but he could fit anywhere in the Arsenal front three.
Some sections of the Arsenal fans feel the club need a marquee signing to show the club have some chance of competing with the other big spending clubs in English football. The purchase of Pato would more than satisfy that desire, but I would be surprised to see Arsenal spend so much money on one player.
Arsenal have been linked with Eden Hazard for quite a while now, and they are believed to have failed with a late bid for him in the summer transfer window. His profile is continually growing, and some of the richest clubs in the world are said to be after his services, too. If Arsene Wenger could somehow convince him that Arsenal are the club to nurture his talents, it would be a fantastic coup for the club.
He's a fantastically talented player who can make and score goals, as well as taking opponents on and beating them. He would fit easily into the Arsenal style of play, and immediately improve the team, too. His capture would be a great boost to the club, and Arsenal fans would be thrilled to see him sign.
Kaka may no longer be the player he once was, but there is no doubt that he could add a certain something to the current Arsenal squad. There are rumours in Madrid that he could be on his way to London, with Arsenal and Chelsea as the teams who might sign him. He could possibly be available at a price Arsenal could afford, as Real Madrid look to offload some players in January.
Whether Arsenal would be prepared to pay him what Madrid pay is another question, though. If a deal was worked out and Kaka signed for Arsenal, he would certainly make those fans looking for a big name signing very happy.
That's it for today.
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