Arsenal Transfer Prospects: Best Players on Arsene Wenger's Radar
Transfer windows are an intriguing time of the year for any Premier League team, but the Emirates Stadium has emerged as a particularly interesting setting to watch in recent years.
Whether it’s because of the amount of transfer business going on or a lack thereof, the Gunners can be entertaining in both the summer and winter windows, with 2013 promising more action.
Currently just above mid-table, it goes without saying that Arsene Wenger’s season hasn’t exactly gone the way he would have envisioned at the start of the campaign.
This means that mid-season recruitment is a massive possibility in January, with offensive additions stealing the majority of the headlines thus far.
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Oliver Brown of The Telegraph says that the north London side’s defeat to Norwich City shows that they’re still suffering from the loss of Robin van Persie and need to reinvest in their striking assets come January.
Although Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski were both signed over the summer, Fernando Llorente would perhaps be a closer fit to what RVP provided Arsenal during his time at the club.
The lanky Spanish giant managed to net on 29 occasions last season and the Daily Mail suggest that Juventus are the favourites to beat Arsenal to land the Spanish international, providing hefty competition for the Gunners’ efforts.
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Arsene Wenger’s reign at the Emirates Stadium has shown nothing if not the value that can be gained from investing in the youth.
While the worth of English talent has shot up in recent years, it appears that Wenger is still more than willing to spend on the youth of England, with Wilfried Zaha’s links with Arsenal rising significantly of late.
The Eagles boardroom member says that the England Under-21 starlet will play Premier League football with his current team, but should the right bid come in, the Championship outfit will undoubtedly find it hard to resist.
One factor in the deal could be whether or not Arsenal agree to a new contract with Theo Walcott, making Zaha a possible wing replacement.
As if it wasn’t enough that the Gunners took advantage of Málaga’s financial status to lure Santi Cazorla to the Emirates over the summer, the English giants are now looking to bring in the Spanish club’s next big star.
Isco has taken full advantage of Cazorla’s departure from La Rosaleda and has stepped into the central playmaking role with some level of maturity.
At just 20 years of age, the Spaniard certainly falls within Arsene Wenger’s normal profile of transfer targets and is just the latest in a long line of La Liga stars to be linked with a Spanish departure (via The Week).
Economical struggles mean that more and more Spanish clubs are being tempted into selling their biggest assets in a bid to make ends meet. Málaga’s position has definitely improved in recent months, but the Qatari-owned outfit could still be tempted into cashing in.
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One of the few defensive players to currently be linked with a move to Arsenal, this isn’t the first time that Brede Hangeland has been tipped for a move from west to north London.
The Norwegian international remains one of Fulham’s most consistent performers and hasn't agreed to a new deal with the Cottagers as of yet.
As things stand, Hangeland’s contract is set to expire at the end of the current season and rather than lose him for free in 2013, Fulham may consider selling their star while they still can.
Metro recently reported that Hangeland and the club are “nowhere near” to agreeing on a new deal with each other, and the player’s agent says that Arsenal are one of the sides looking to pounce come January.
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With an alleged £35 million to spend in the winter transfer window, the Daily Mail says that Adrian Lopez is the £15 million target currently topping Arsene Wenger’s January wishlist.
The same article claims that Arsenal sent scouts to watch Lopez in action during his weekend fixture at Real Sociedad, showing a very real amount of interest in his signature.
Last season, Lopez managed to score 19 goals and make 10 assists. He is capable of playing up front or in a wider position if needed, something Arsenal would appear to be on the lookout for this winter.
Apparently going through a contract dispute (via Metro), the 24-year-old attacker could be on his way out of the Spanish capital in the New Year.
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However, it’s Lopez’s Atletico Madrid teammate and striker extraordinaire, Radamel Falcao, that will undoubtedly steal the limelight as well as the majority of the transfer speculation.
The Colombian had been linked with a host of European giants over the last few months, and it’s no wonder, with the frequency in which he scores.
Falcao currently has a better goals per game ratio than both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in La Liga, and has led his side to being joint top of the league along with Barcelona.
If reports of a £35 million January transfer kitty are true, it could well require that whole amount to tempt Atletico Madrid into selling their prolific star (via Guardian).
Robin van Persie’s summer exit has meant that scoring duties are having to be shared amongst the Arsenal squad, but if Falcao were to arrive, it would be all too predictable who might take the scoring reins.
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One of several stars on this list to be going through a contract dispute at the moment, Arsenal is just one of the possible European destinations for Chelsea starlet, Daniel Sturridge.
The England international has been suffering slightly with an injury as of late, but is also finding it nigh impossible to crack the Blues starting XI thanks to the amount of attacking acquisitions made in the summer.
The arrival of players such as Eden Hazard, Oscar and Marko Marin adds to the already thriving competition at Stamford Bridge and makes Sturridge’s chances of playing time all the more slim.
Arsenal may be willing to offer Sturridge the more central attacking role that he so desires and the Daily Mail say that bidding will kick off at £15 million in January.
The 23-year-old will see his contract expire next summer and the Blues could decide to cash in on a fringe player for whom they have quite a bit of cover.