As the January transfer nears, Joe Ridge of the Daily Mail reports that Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle and Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby are atop the Arsenal wishlist. The club is already amid an effort to expand its scouting presence in Germany generally, as evidenced by the four German players already on the roster.
The duo would address two of the Gunners' more pressing issues. Both are capable attackers—Schurrle is a forward who can play outside or in the middle; Holtby is a midfielder—and would help revitalize an under-performing offense.
Arsenal is also working diligently on defense, as shown by the widely hailed appointment of former defensive stalwart Steve Bould to assistant manager. The new and improved defense generated great excitement as the season commenced, but it has disappointed in recent outings.
The pair would also bring youth to a club that could use some long-term stability. The two German players are, in addition to being talented, young: Schurrle is 21, Holtby is 22. This is an excellent way to offset the fact that 23-year-old Theo Walcott is expected to leave the club, and Marouane Chamakh is both 28 and inconsistent on the pitch.
The price tag will not be small, though: Schurrle was the target of an unsuccessful £20 million Chelsea bid this summer, and his current club, Leverkusen, is likely to want at least that much. That said, Holtby may come with a modest hometown discount; his father is English, and his agent has alluded to Holtby's desire to play in the EPL. (Arsenal is the identified suitor even though the young midfielder is an Everton supporter.)
The January transfer window opens soon. Expect Arsenal management to behave in the way they'd like the club to on the pitch: be fast, aggressive and successful.
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