Few teams will be scrutinized more in the transfer window than Arsenal. While the Gunners came into Monday's play in fifth place (with a game in hand), an enormous amount of hand-wringing and anxiety has pervaded the club's fanbase.
Then again, if your team had lost Robin van Persie and Alex Song in the August transfer window, perhaps you would overanalyze every detail from every match, too.
But Arsenal can put an end to the panic by making a few big-name signings or at least several savvy ones. The first player that seems to be on the radar is promising forward Adrian Lopez of Atletico Madrid, who would likely come at a reasonable fee and could play all three forward positions for Arsenal.
From Wayne Veysey of Goal.com:
The Londoners have submitted a formal offer of around £10 million, which is lower than the £14.7m release clause in the forward's contract.
Goal.com understands that Arsenal opened talks with Atletico to sign the 24-year-old Spain international before Christmas and have now made their move in an attempt to capture the player in the January window.
As revealed by Goal.com in October, Arsene Wenger has been closely pursuing Adrian, as he is known in his homeland, for months after failing to sign him last summer.
As Veysey notes, the Gunners may be able to land Adrian for less than the £14.7 million release clause, as the Spanish forward has struggled at times this season and has largely been relegated to a role as a substitute behind on-form striker Radamel Falcao.
On the year, Adrian has started just six La Liga games and has just two goals. I know, I know, hardly exciting stuff, especially for the price tag.
But a year ago, Adrian was far more potent for Atletico, scoring 19 goals in all competitions. He's versatile enough to play either wing position, at striker or just behind the striker as a roving forward, making him all the more valuable if Theo Walcott either departs or is played more centrally as a striker.
He's a technically sound forward, as well, and seems the perfect fit for Arsene Wenger's possession-based system. Plus, he won't break the bank, as would many of the other strikers rumored to be available to the highest bidder this winter.
Some Arsenal fans may want to splash the cash for a more-proven striker, but I think adding a player like Adrian along with bringing in a really sturdy defensive midfielder and perhaps another left-back as well would be the wiser investment.
The goals are starting to come for the Gunners, but this team desperately needs a sturdy presence in the holding positions.
I think the odds of Arsenal signing Adrian are probably pretty high. This is the sort of move that has Wenger's fingerprints all over it and would really bolster Arsenal's attack, namely if the team retains Walcott.
Wenger didn't wait around to make his moves this summer, so if this goes down, expect to see it go down soon. Get excited, Arsenal fans—this January has the look of a transfer window that will be more positive than negative for a change.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets know the Gunners are an addition or two away from another Champions League qualification.