Arsenal: Potential Surprise Summer Signings
Arsenal made headlines last summer with their last-moment transfer deadline signings, and each of the players signed that day were big surprises. Arsene Wenger's methods of scouting players who show incredible talent, are not on the spotlight and are reasonably priced have often resulted in the club making surprise purchases that puzzled both fans and critics. Let's attempt to predict who may be on Wenger's shortlist this summer.
1: Martin Skrtel
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Goal.com reported Saturday morning that Skrtel may ask to leave the Merseyside this summer. The reason for this shocking decision is Liverpool's constant inability to win a spot in next season's Champions League. With the Gunners on their way to being in the third spot on the table, the beloved Reds defender may be eyeing a move to Arsenal, as Wenger looks to strengthen his side's defense.
2. Clint Dempsey
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The underrated American attacking midfielder had been a summer target for Wenger in the past, but Fullham wasn't too willing to let go of their top scorer that easily. The 29-year-old would come in at £11.5 million, having scored 50 goals for Fullham in 181 appearances. The USA international would be persuaded by the lure of Champions League football and ending his career at one of the World's Top Clubs.
3. Michel Bastos
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The 28-year-old Brazilian international had a magical presence on the field for his national team in the 2010 World Cup and in club-level acts as the puppet master for Olympique Lyon with eight assists and six goals in 21 league appearances. The left-winger and left-back is valued at £11 million.
4. Frédéric Bulot
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The 21-year-old French creative midfielder for the club SM Caen has made seven assists and scored three goals in 26 appearances in the French Ligue 1 this season. Being a young talent and an unknown, he is the perfect mould for Wenger's team lineup. He is valued at only £1.8 million.
5. Yoan Gouffran
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Valued at only £4.8 million, the french striker has scored 12 goals for Bordeaux this season and came in as the fourth-highest scorer in French Ligue 1. The striker is only 25 years old and has big dreams for his career. However, he is rumored to be allergic to "grass", which may explain his low market value.
6. Younes Belhanda
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The Moroccan international is also a summer target of Manchester City, with many comparing him to Eden Hazard. Belhanda has scored 12 goals for Montpellier this season. Only 22 years old, the creative midfielder comes in at £14 million.
7. Mathieu Deplagne
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At only £50,000, the 20-year-old defender Mathieu Deplagne is a dream purchase for Wenger, as the French U20 international has poster-boy good looks (an advantage for Arsenal's promotional programs) and the towering height that mirrors Barcelona's Gerard Pique. This may be the perfect investment for Arsenal, as they look to strengthen their right-back. He currently plays for Montpellier.
8. Luuk De Jong
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The 21-year-old Dutch striker has scored 25 goals this season for his club FC Twente, coming in as the second-highest scorer in Eredivisie. The striker is valued at only £8,000,000, a number which is likely to escalate as the 2012 Euros pave the way for the Dutch striker to steal some spotlight from Arsenal's skipper Robin van Persie. He is the perfect replacement for Van Persie if the captain decides to abandon ship.
9. Dries Mertens
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The Belgian winger currently plays for PSV and has scored a record 21 goals this season for the Dutch club. At 25 years old, the striker has enough experience to bring in some much-needed impact in attack for Arsenal next season. Valued at only £12 million, the striker can become an attacking partner for Podolski, a win-win for both the club and its fans.
10. Mitchell Langerak
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Langerak, an Australian goalkeeper who currently plays for Borussia Dortmund, may be an important but highly unlikely perspective for Arsenal. The 23-year-old is valued at £620,000 and has the build of Joe Hart and athleticism of Iker Casillas. He would be an ideal second keeper for Arsenal once Wenger disposes of the disaster Manuel Almunia.
What Are Your Thoughts?
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Which of the 10 prospective players in this list do you wish to see join the Gooners next season?