Arsenal Transfer: 3 Borussia Dortmund Players Arsenal Could Sign
Arsene Wenger could be looking to strengthen the squad in the summer in preparation for the coming season, no matter how this current one ends.
At this point, it doesn't look like any additions are coming to the Ashburton Grove, so any speculation or rumor can only make sense with summer in mind, barring any 11th-hour signing in the next four days, which looks unlikely.
There are three positions that have been exposed as real areas of need in the current squad. I discuss them in the following slides and suggest three players that Wenger could buy to fill these areas of need. All are Borussia Dortmund players.
To the objection that it's unlikely that Arsenal may sign three players from the same club, I need only point out that we are not talking facts here but speculation, which may or may not come to pass. Besides, few of the players that crowd the must sign transfer lists ever go to the clubs that must sign them.
Arsenal still have a vacuum to fill for the attacking midfielder position. Aaron Ramsey still is not playing at a level that affords Arsenal much advantage in the midfield.
While there's no doubt that Ramsey will improve in the coming season and next, Arsenal may need an immediate solution. Or at least they may need to sign someone who can give Ramsey real competition for the creative midfielder position.
Shinji Kagawa could be that person.
Before the advent of Mario Götze at the end of last season, Shinji Kagawa was undoubtedly Borussia Dortmund's best revelation.
The coming of Götze has simply disguised the immense talent that is Shinji Kagawa. This could be an opening for Arsenal who may not be able to ward off competition to sign the now much-coveted Götze.
Signed on the cheap by Borussia Dortmund for €350,000 from Cerezo Osaka in the summer of 2010, Kagawa quickly established himself both as an important part of the Dortmund team that would go on to win the 2010-11 Bundesliga title and as a fan-favorite.
He proved a descent finisher, scoring 12 goals for the club in 28 appearances in all competitions in the first half of the season, before being forced to missed the entire second half of the season by an injury he picked up in January of 2011 at the AFC Asian Cup.
Although his goal scoring stats this season are not as impressive as last season's, they nevertheless are descent enough at six goals in 24 appearances, considering the fact that he is constrained to act more as a creator of goals this season than last, where the presence of Nuri Sahin in the midfield allowed Kagawa to play a more forward role.
This year, with both Sahin and Götze missing in the midfield, the latter through injury, Kagawa is playing deeper. He is the funnel through which most of Dortmund's attacks pass. He often leads the team's counterattacks, and many forward movements, even on the flanks, end up channeled through him. He already has six assists this season.
Kagawa is 22. He is versatile, and could provide real competition for Aaron Ramsey if signed. Plus, he is scoring goals. He already is used to the passing game that Arsenal favor, since Dortmund play a similar style.
He will be cheaper than Götze, and there will be less competition for him. Arsenal could therefore forget Götze and focus instead on Kagawa.
Before there was Götze; there was Kagawa, and Kagawa is still a star in the making even though he's already impressive and accomplished.
It is an open secret that Arsenal still don't have an effective backup for Robin van Persie. With no striker signed this January, it stands to reason that a major signing could be made in the summer to plug this hole. Lukas Podolski looks like the likely candidate for this position. Matias Suarez could be the other.
Barring these two and others that Arsenal may discover, Lucas Barrios could be the man, especially if Arsenal manage to retain van Persie and look only to sign someone cheap but good.
At the end of last season, Barrios was valued at £17.5 million. A move from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea was rumored until Barrios got injured at the Copa Amèrica in July of 2011.
Barrios' last season's scoring form was good. He scored a total of 16 Bundesliga goals for the season. What was most important is that his return was steady. He never went on a stretch without scoring.
Barrios is a good player although he hasn't played much this season due to the injury mentioned above. This means his transfer value has dropped.
This is where Arsenal could come in. Sign him on the cheap, rehabilitate him in the preseason and have him integrated in the team at the beginning of the season.
He could be a better option than both Nicklas Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh.
Sébastien Squillaci is likely to leave Arsenal in the summer. The central defender has proved more a liability than asset for Arsenal since joining in the summer of 2010. He joined Arsenal as an accomplished central defender but has since failed to adjust to the Premier League.
He is one player many Arsenal fans would gladly see the back of. When sold, Arsenal may decide to sign another defender for cover. Marcel Schmelzer could be the man.
Although Marcel Schmelzer is not a central defender but plays at the left-back position, and although by summer both Andre Santos and Kieran Gibbs would be available for the same position, it wouldn't be a bad thing to sign Schmelzer to provide additional competition for the position.
He has become an important piece of the Borussia Dortmund team. And since Arsenal's signings are always done with an eye to the future, Schmelzer could be signed as the long-term replacement for Andre Santos, who at 28 may not stay at Arsenal for very long. Whereas at 24, Schmelzer could give Arsenal at least six years, which could easily become 10.
Have Your Say
Please list your own three players for the three positions discussed here. I will compiled them here afterwards.