Arsenal: 5 Players Fans Would Love to See at the Emirates Next Year
Even if Arsenal manage to finish in the top four, few would dispute that Arsene Wenger has a bit of work to do on his squad during the summer.
If the Gunners fail to qualify for the Champions League, it will be a lot harder to add the quality players the team needs, but changes will have to be made nonetheless.
For too long, Arsenal have relied on a small core of players to carry the team through every long, arduous season, and the results have been if not quite disastrous, then unnecessarily stressful.
With that in mind, let's look at five players whom fans are hoping to see shaking hands with Wenger inside the Emirates before the summer transfer window shuts.
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.
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.
The Telegraph reported on this rumor about three weeks ago, and Arsenal's need for a defensive midfielder is just as great. It certainly would have helped shore up the defense against Tottenham.
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 lighting up the Emirates and helping the Gunners toward a top-four finish.
According to The Times, the Gunners were looking to reel Villa in with a bid of £8 million, which, if successful, would have been 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.
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 centre-backs on their payroll after Johan Djourou was loaned to Hannover 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.
Christian Benteke adores Arsenal, and Arsenal should adore him.
The powerful striker has put Aston Villa on his back at times this season, scoring the winner in the Villans' scintillating victory over QPR last weekend and netting many other crucial goals throughout his debut season.
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.
And now the one that Arsenal fans are really clambering for.
Don't count on this transfer happening if Arsenal finish outside of the top four. Stevan Jovetic is the sort of premier player who will certainly not entertain a move to a Europa League club.
And 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 (Mirror) 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 22 Serie A games, he has 11 goals and four 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.