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Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Gunners Linked with a Move for Adrian Lopez

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Adrian Lopez of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Besiktas JK at the Vincente Calderon stadium on March 8, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
James DudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2012

Citing a report from Spanish outlet AS, CaughtOffside.com has suggested that Arsenal are pursuing a deal for Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez. The report indicates that the Gunners have begun negotiations with a preliminary bid of £10 million.

Lopez would be an excellent addition to Arsenal's attack. The 24-year-old is a creative influence in forward areas. His subtle movement and clever passing make Lopez a natural fit for the kind of fluid, thoughtful football advocated by Arsene Wenger.

Lopez netted 20 goals in all competitions last season and could add more flair to the wide berths in Arsenal's attacking trio. Wenger's team needs an infusion of craft and guile in the attacking third, and Lopez is the kind of cerebral player who can offer just that.

Also, he played in a front three as part of a similar 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 hybrid formation to the one currently favoured at Arsenal.

Lopez became a key figure in Atletico Madrid's triumphant UEFA Europa League campaign, so he would have no trouble making the jump up to Champions League football.

With the futures of Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott still in doubt, Arsenal need to ensure that they have enough firepower to challenge on all fronts this season.

So much attention has focused on van Persie that Walcott has almost become a forgotten man. But the pacey wide man has yet agree a new deal. The Sun newspaper recently indicated that the intentions of his skipper will determine Walcott's future in North London.

In many ways, Lopez would represent an upgrade on the frustratingly inconsistent England international. He would not provide the same direct threat or game-changing speed, but the Spaniard would offer technical superiority and greater invention in the forward areas.

Walcott's limited repertoire of runs often made him too easy to mark out of games during last season. Lopez varies his movement and wouldn't be as easy for opposition defenses to pick up.

CaughtOffside.com states that Atletico are seeking up to £14.5 million before they consider letting Lopez leave. Given how he could improve the guile and intricacy of Arsenal's game, that could be money worth spending.

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