Arsenal Transfer News: Players Who Could Get Gunners Back in Top-4 Race

Alex GruberFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2013

Wilfried Zaha would be a wise purchase for Arsenal.
Wilfried Zaha would be a wise purchase for Arsenal.Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

After their 2-1 loss to Chelsea, Arsenal find themselves in sixth place and in danger of missing out on Champions League play for the first time since 1996. They currently sit seven points behind bitter rivals Tottenham, who earned a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

As such, Arsène Wenger and Co. need to move fast to bolster their roster if they are to get back within a shout of the race for the top four.


Wilfried Zaha

First among these players is Wilfried Zaha. According to Wayne Veysey of, the Crystal Palace starlet is subject to interest from both Arsenal and United, and his reported €14.4m price tag is fairly reasonable for such a highly touted prospect.

While his goal-scoring exploits may leave something to be desired, Zaha's versatility allows him to be moved around the front line. Considering Theo Walcott's insistence on playing at center-forward, Zaha can slide in on the wing across from Lukas Podolski.


Yann M'Vila

Next up among potential Arsenal targets is Yann M'Vila. The defensive midfielder can fill that same role previously held by Barcelona signing Alex Song, and would push Abou Diaby down the pecking order.

The French international is strong in the challenge and a good distributor of the ball—a role which will be important in the absence of Mikel Arteta, who is out through injury. With all the talent flying around up front, the defensive steel will be vital in the middle of the park and M'Vila is well-suited to taking up that challenge.

According to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail, Arsenal will have to fight off reported interest in M'Vila from Spurs and QPR. A reasonable £8 million market value fits Wenger's "budget" quite well, but he will have to act fast if he is to get his man.


Mohamed Diame

Should the Rennes man not arrive, then the Gunners should focus on West Ham's Mohamed Diame. A holding midfielder, Ewan Roberts of thinks the Senegal international fits the mold of Diaby in that he is a powerful presence who can provide excellent cover for the back line while not shirking duties going forward.

The fact that he provides such great cover can allow Arsenal's full-backs, namely Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs, to burst forward more often to provide different threats to the opposing defense. Diame will then help prevent counterattacks from breaking the side down.

This dynamism could be key as Arsenal look to fight their way back to the Champions League spots.