Arsenal Summer Transfer Targets: 5 Best Players Linked to the Gunners

Charlie Melman@@charliemelmanCorrespondent IIFebruary 12, 2013

Arsenal Summer Transfer Targets: 5 Best Players Linked to the Gunners

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    Arsenal might not have been particularly active during the January transfer window, but that should change during the summer.

    Arsene Wenger has said that the winter window should be abolished, and real team-building does not really occur until July and August roll around. So, even though we're talking about Arsenal here, feel free to get your hopes up when the season ends.

    Who are the early rumors pointing towards? What stars can you hope for, if not expect? Here are five to get the blood pumping.

David Villa

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    Arsenal fans were desperately hoping for this one to come through before the transfer window shut, and if not for Barcelona's reluctance to sell, David Villa would be in a London hospital dealing with kidney stones right now instead of a Catalan one.

    According to The Times, the Gunners were looking to reel Villa in with a bid of £8 million, which, if successful, would be an incredible bargain by even Arsene Wenger's standards.

    Villa is as clinical as strikers get and would fit in perfectly with Arsenal's technical style of play. There would hardly be any griping about missed chances if the ball found its way to Villa's feet.

    His experience—having won every club and international trophy available to him—would be invaluable in the locker room.

Fernando Amorebieta

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    The Athletic Bilbao man with the lovely name has seen himself linked with Arsenal principally due to the value he presents—and everyone knows how much Arsene Wenger loves to nick a player on the cheap.

    Fernando Amorebieta's transfer fee would come out to a grand total of £0.00 because he is out of contract in the summer, but his financial attractiveness has drawn interest from a host of Premier League clubs.

    With a criminal paucity of defenders at the club (Arsenal currently have only three senior center-backs on their payroll after Johan Djourou was loaned to Hanover 96), Amorebieta would provide excellent cover, or a challenge to, the rotating first-choice trio of Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

    If he is willing to start out at the bottom of the pecking order, that is.

Etienne Capoue

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    The Telegraph provides this rumor, which should not be entirely disbelieved.

    One of the most promising talents in Ligue 1, Etienne Capoue is, at 24 years old, beginning to enter into the prime years of his career.

    So now could be the perfect time for Arsenal to buy him, especially with their need for another presence at the back of midfield.

    The Gunners do not have a true defensive midfielder. Mikel Arteta is a metronomic distributor, Aaron Ramsey forces himself to play the same role and Abou Diaby is more of an attacking midfielder. Plus, Diaby is extremely fragile and susceptible to injuries.

Christian Benteke

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    Christian Benteke adores Arsenal, and Arsenal should adore him.

    The powerful striker has put Aston Villa on his back at times this season, scoring more than twice as many goals as anyone else on the team and providing more assists than any of his teammates.

    A strike from the penalty spot helped lift the struggling Villains over West Ham last weekend, and a brace a week earlier secured a draw with Everton.

    Olivier Giroud is the only true striker that Arsenal have, and certainly the only physical option that the Gunners have up front. Benteke would provide an alternative option off the bench or as a starter, allowing Arsene Wenger to rotate the squad more than he has.

    Wenger monitored him last summer and couldn't buy him in January since he had already played for two clubs. Might he make a move for Benteke this time around?

Stevan Jovetic

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    Stevan Jovetic's name was first bandied about during the latter days of January, but there was no chance that Arsenal would shell out the amount of cash needed to purchase him during the middle of the season.

    Don't count on the club opening its checkbook during the summer, either. But one can get much more excited about this rumor if speculation grows warmer with the weather at the end of the season.

    Jovetic has been one of Fiorentina's best players this season, playing in the hole behind the striker or in an attacking midfield position. In 19 Serie A games, he has nine goals and three assists, making him La Viola's leading scorer.

    He would not likely do the same with Arsenal; at least not right away. But he would immediately become one of the club's best players and its premier signing.