Arsenal Transfers: 5 Potential Under-23 Targets for Wenger in January
We all know how much Arsene Wenger values youth, and January is often the time when he adds it to the squad.
The only permanent addition last winter was young German Thomas Eisfeld, who is now flourishing for the Under-21 side and is beginning to seriously push for a first-team place.
Who might Wenger bring in this time? While I cannot possibly predict the arrival of someone as unknown as Eisfeld was, the Frenchman certainly has a wide variety of potential targets to choose from.
They might not give Arsenal the immediate help that the Gunners need, but it can never hurt to lay the foundation for future success.
Here are five young men that Wenger might take a look at.
Alright, I'll get this out of the way first, so we can talk about new players that Arsene Wenger can bring in.
The bottom line is that Arsenal need to sign Walcott up for a few more years and continue to develop him into the striker that he is capable of becoming.
His pace obviously adds something to the team, but the fact that he is Arsenal's top scorer this season and has provided numerous crucial assists shows that he is an important member of the squad.
Arsenal's transfer stories will be dominated by Walcott's contract situation, and they should; this is the first bit of business that must get done.
At the age of 19, Leicester center-back and right-back Liam Moore is attracting the attention of Premier League clubs, and he would be a worthy addition to Arsenal this winter.
Arriving in January, Moore could cut his teeth in the Under-21s and learn the Arsenal way, he could be loaned out or even used as emergency cover for when the inevitable injury crisis hits.
Moore has already been capped for England's U-21 side, and could be a valuable piece of the new English core that Arsene Wenger is slowly building up at Arsenal.
Jetro Willems first burst onto the international stage at Euro 2012, when, barely 18-years-old, he became the youngest player ever to appear in the competition.
While the Netherlands would dramatically crash and burn in Poland and Ukraine, Willems was a bright spot on the left side of defence, frequently getting forward to good effect.
His raw potential and attacking instincts are what has won Willems eight caps at this stage of his career, and they are traits that Arsene Wenger values highly in full-backs.
While he might not like having to compete with Kieran Gibbs, a fairly established player who is only a few years his senior, Willems would be a good replacement for the self-destructing Andre Santos.
Lewis Holtby had been a rising star in German football before this season, but I and many Arsenal fans were treated to their first experience with the youngster when Schalke recently played Arsenal in the Champions League.
The German was a thorn in the Gunners' side to say the least. Operating as either an attacking midfielder or a wide man on either side of the pitch, he gave Bacary Sagna a fit on more than one occasion and was the outlet through which much of Schalke's good play flowed.
In a way, Holtby resembles a younger, German version of Santi Cazorla. And there is not a single Arsenal supporter who wouldn't like to have more Cazorlas at the club right now.
Wilfried Zaha's stardom continues to rise. The 20-year-old who recently said that he could only be compared to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi just won his first cap for England amid rumors of a move to Arsenal.
A look at the highlight reel shows that Zaha has superb ball control and pitch vision to go with the kind of strong frame that can be further developed. Clearly, while he is not ready for regular, top-level football, Zaha can take the more gradual, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain path to success.
His cockiness is a bit unsettling, but with the undoubtable talent that is bubbling under the surface and his stardom rising with each passing week, January is the time to lap up Wilfried Zaha.
If, however, Arsene Wenger is willing to dip into his pocket.