5 Summer Deals That Would Change the Way We Think About Arsenal
As the Premier League season draws to a close, it's time for Arsene Wenger to identify his main targets for Arsenal in the summer transfer window.
Can he lure anyone to Arsenal who would significantly change the way we think about the club? Plenty of world-class talents have been linked with the team that continues to fight for a Champions League spot this season.
Wenger's shopping list is likely to be a long one. He has confirmed there is money to spend on players in the coming months (via Arsenal.com). Can he uncover the next Thierry Henry? Or perhaps the next Francis Jeffers?
Let's take a look at five targets that could make a huge impact wearing Arsenal colours.
Edinson Cavani: Napoli
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
There's no denying Arsenal needs a leading striker who can score 30 goals every season. Although Olivier Giroud's return of 13 goals in 40 appearances isn't too bad for a first year showing, the Gunners need more if they are to play with a lone forward.
Edinson Cavani would be the perfect fit.
The Uruguayan has long been linked with a move to the Emirates, even if Napoli's asking price is highly outrageous (via Metro). Cavani has notched 30 goals in 37 appearances this season and offers far more to his team than Giroud.
Arsenal's free-flowing style has added a sense of grit this campaign. Even so, Arsene Wenger's forwards have a tendency to go missing when the team struggles under pressure. As we saw with his sloppy red card against Fulham, Giroud only offers defensive help through his height and isn't particularly effective when tracking back.
Cavani leads from the front with a defensive contribution that would surely galvanize Arsenal's overall play. His ability to hold up the ball would also bring wingers into the match more regularly. Arsenal currently relies on Giroud's ability to find a man from heading situations, a technique that often loses possession.
Rene Adler: Hamburg
Patrik Stollarz/Getty Images
Dare I say it: Arsenal is still searching for Jens Lehmann's long-term replacement. Like Manchester United's inability to replace Peter Schmeichel for years after his departure, the Gunners have never looked as solid without the charismatic German.
Wojciech Szczesny and Lukas Fabianski are decent stoppers. The latter, in particular, looks far more assertive in his recent return from injury. Unfortunately for Arsenal, Fabianski is currently sidelined once more (via The Sun).
Arsene Wenger has been linked with a number of goalkeepers in recent weeks. Both Simon Mignolet and Asmir Begovic are likely to be deemed too pricey, so attention has turned to experienced Hamburg keeper Rene Adler (via The Daily Mirror).
The 28-year-old German international could easily establish himself as the Emirates number one. Although at least one of the club's current goalkeepers would probably move on, Arsenal would finally have a number one that inspires confidence in every match. Right now, can you see them winning a major trophy with Szczesny or Fabianski propping the defence up?
Stevan Jovetic: Fiorentina
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
If reports are to be believed, Arsenal is more likely to sign Stevan Jovetic than they are Edinson Cavani. The 23-year-old is said to be valued at around £25 million after an excellent season saw him net 12 goals in 26 appearances (via The Daily Mail).
Jovetic is the type of individual who could thrive under Wenger's guidance. He excels when counter-attacking, possesses phenomenal dribbling skills and loves to shoot from distance. With players like Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott around him, Jovetic has the ability to add that final touch of class to Arsenal's attacks.
The Montenegrin also has a habit of scoring important goals. His double in Fiorentina's 4-1 win over Inter summed up an individual who could add a real spark to any side.
Julian Draxler: Schalke
Lars Baron/Getty Images
Borussia Dortmund's interest in Julian Draxler is making this one look rather unlikely. With Mario Gotze on his way to Bayern Munich, it's hard to argue that Draxler wouldn't be an appropriate replacement for Jurgen Klopp's side.
Some reports even suggest Munich are ready to join the race for his signature (via The Daily Express). The 19-year-old is likely to be flooded with offers and could have a major decision on his hands. His versatility in the attacking midfield role could finally afford Podolski a prolonged shot up front, as Draxler's dangerous finishing ability and strength on the ball could take some of the onus off Arsenal's strikers when holding up possession.
Draxler already has vast experience across the Bundesliga and Champions League. He helped Schalke advance from Arsenal's group earlier this year and has already scored in Europe's most important club competition. If Wenger wants to put his faith in youth, look no further.
Cesc Fabregas: Barcelona
David Ramos/Getty Images
Perhaps this is wishful thinking for Arsenal fans. Perhaps Fabregas' Emirates legacy is buried forever.
Arsene Wenger has suggested Fabregas may make a return sometime in the future (via The Telegraph). Speculation has repeatedly questioned whether the Spaniard is happy at Barcelona (via Talksport). Although it's probably a long shot, there's no denying Arsenal's midfield would benefit from Fabregas playing alongside Wilshere and Cazorla.
Fabregas has made 35 appearances in a long season for Barcelona. His inconsistent time on the pitch has produced 10 goals and 10 assists, indicating he has plenty more to offer wherever he plays. The midfielder knows what it takes to compete in the Premier League and would also add significant weight to Arsenal's attractiveness in the transfer market.
If Fabregas returned, his name alone could bring other top quality players to North London.
Who would you like to see Arsenal sign this summer? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to follow me on Twitter right here: Follow @Nakerman
All statistics in this article are courtesy of Whoscored.