6 Realistic Arsenal Summer Transfer Targets: Should Arsene Wenger Sign Them?
Every summer the rumour mill goes into overdrive about which players are set for transfers to the Premier League. And each summer one team seemingly leaves their supporters feeling a little cheated with regard to their transfer activity: Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger's penchant for looking somewhere toward the middle of the market rather than shopping at the top end has left many questioning whether he can ever truly turn the Gunners into serious title challengers again.
Furthermore, whilst Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United look to do their metaphorical shopping at Harrods, Wenger is seemingly doing the equivalent at stores much lower down the food chain.
However, amidst reports that a £70 million shopping spree is set for this summer, according to the Mirror, it appears the 13-time English league champions could be set to make a run at heading the top table once more.
With that in mind, here's a look at six realistic summer targets for the Gunners, and whether Arsene Wenger should make his move.
1. Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina)
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The highly rated Montenegro international has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, and according to Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail last month, the Gunners have already opened talks with Fiorentina over a £25 million summer move.
Still only 23, the Viola forward has been based in Florence for the last five years. And despite a serious knee injury which saw him miss the 2010-11 Serie A season in its entirety, "Jo-Jo," as he is known, has returned to become an integral part of Vincenzo Montella's talented side.
Twenty-six league goals over the last two seasons have pointed toward the player's quality, but Jovetic is about much more than goals; intelligent movement, an eye for a defence-splitting pass and excellent technique are all staples of the player's game.
Additionally, his versatility in being able to play in a variety of forward positions would prove quite the asset to an Arsenal front line which has become somewhat compartmentalised since the introduction of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.
Certainly, a figure in excess of £25 million would be a transfer record for Arsene Wenger in his time as Arsenal boss. But with the club having recently secured new commercial deals with both Emirates and Puma, money is hardly sparse at Ashburton Grove.
Ludicrously talented, Jovetic is just the sort of signing that supporters at the Emirates Stadium feel they are entitled to this summer—a sense of entitlement brought about by high ticket prices and no major trophy since 2005.
The Montenegrin ticks all the boxes, and if the Gunners secure Champions League football ahead of next season, then all signs point to the likelihood of the player arriving in North London.
Should Arsene Wenger sign him: Yes, such intelligence and class has been somewhat missing from the Arsenal front line since Robin van Persie's departure.
2. Maxime Gonalons (Olympique Lyonnais)
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The 24-year-old Lyon midfielder has had something of a standout two years at the Stade Gerland, emerging from the shadows of others to become the leader of Remi Garde's midfield and the current skipper of OL.
Standing at 6'2", the six-cap French international certainly doesn't shirk the physical side of the game, but it's his technical and mental abilities that truly stand out.
An intelligent user of the ball, Gonalons is also adept at reading the game from a defensive standpoint, ensuring his side don't get caught in transition. When he can't do that by legal means, he's not afraid of picking up a cynical foul to stop opponents in their tracks, as nine yellow cards this season will attest.
With his contract due to expire in 2014, a reduced fee of £10 million has been mooted (Daily Mail). Such a figure would only make him more attractive, especially for an Arsenal side whose midfield has been without a recognised defensive shield since Alex Song's departure to Barcelona.
Also, having seen Paris Saint-Germain claim the Ligue 1 title this past weekend, with mega-rich AS Monaco set to return to the league this summer, and given Les Gones' own continuing financial struggles, Gonalons may see now as a good time to further his career in the Premier League.
Should Arsene Wenger sign him: Yes, the midfield has seemed somewhat lightweight since Song's sale. Gonalons would add greater defensive qualities whilst not taking away from the technical.
3. Rene Adler (Hamburger SV)
The German goalkeeper has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, and recently stated that it's an "honour" to be spoken of as a potential Arsenal player (h/t the Metro).
The 28-year-old only arrived in Hamburg last summer, joining on a free transfer from Bayer Leverkusen where he had been displaced by the promising youngster Bernd Leno.
A strong shot-stopper and a powerful unit, the 11-cap German international made his return for Die Mannschaft after a two-year absence earlier this season.
Yet, Adler has enjoyed an impressive season despite being part of an HSV outfit which is very much going through a transitional period. They are seventh in the Bundesliga with one game to play, having overcome a poor start to the season.
Adler has been a big, increasingly vocal part of Hamburg's push toward the European places, which justifies any interest Arsene Wenger may have. With Wojciech Szczesny having had an indifferent campaign, goalkeeper may be an area Arsenal are looking to strengthen.
Should Arsene Wenger sign him: No. Is he really better than what the Gunners already have? There was a reason he couldn't displace Leno and cost nothing a year ago.
4. Etienne Capoue (Toulouse)
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The 24-year-old powerhouse has enjoyed another excellent season at the heart of the Toulouse midfield, seeing his reputation continue to grow.
Should Arsene Wenger sign him: Yes. Strong and physical, he'd be the perfect on-field lieutenant for Arsenal's ballplayers. He would also thrive amongst the physical nature of the Premier League.
5. Loic Remy (Queens Park Rangers)
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The 26-year-old striker has his heart set on a summer move to Arsenal, according to Matt Law of the Mirror, when he quits relegated QPR this summer for a mere £6 million.
Having only arrived in the Premier League in January, Remy has been the leading light in what have been dismal attempts by the R's to retain their top-flight status. Six goals in 13 matches have gone some way to proving the French international's pedigree.
With pace to burn and a sharp eye for goal, the former Marseille forward could be a quality signing for the Gunners this summer at a greatly reduced price.
With the Gunners' aforementioned £70 million war chest, £6 million represents not even 10 percent. His qualities have shone in a team of limited ability. In one where chances are created in far greater number, he is a potential 20 goals-a-season man.
Should Arsene Wenger sign him: Yes. He's a bargain at such a figure and his ability to score goals from nothing could give Arsenal a decisive hand in tight contests next season.
6. Adil Rami (Valencia)
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As far as central defenders go in world football, there are very few who can claim to be as complete a package as the Valencia defender Adil Rami.
The Corsica native is deceptively quick, strong as an ox, powerful in the air and a decisive reader of the game. Additionally, he's good with the ball at his feet. With 25 caps for France, the 27-year-old is approaching the prime of his career.
With all that in mind, it appears a no-brainer that Arsenal should hold an interest in taking the player this summer.
With Valencia happy to sell for around £7.5 million, according to James Dickenson of the Express, it's even more so.
However, he's not without his problems. He's a guy who recently injured himself dancing to "Gangnam Style" (h/t the Metro), despite having already missed matches through injury.
Additionally his dominant, over-zealous style has seen him pick up four red cards and a further 21 yellows since his arrival at the Mestalla last season.
Yet, with the trio of Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny having yet to provide Wenger with a definitive partnership, then the eccentric Rami may just be the answer.
Should Arsene Wenger sign him: Yes. His career continues to make forward strides, and he is potentially a world star. Arsenal's defence needs improving; he could be the answer at an outstanding price.
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