Arsenal Transfers: 10 Confederations Cup Stars Arsene Wenger Should Be Eyeing
There is an excitement and intensity surrounding the 2013 Confederations Cup that usually eludes the low-key FIFA tournament, making it a showcase for stars this transfer window.
Traditionally seen as either an inconsequential World Cup dress rehearsal or a boring, gratuitous money-spinner, this year's edition seems both more significant and more engaging.
Perhaps it is because it's the last competitive test for an unconvincing host side who desperately need to prove their credentials ahead of World Cup 2014.
Perhaps it is being taken more seriously as a chance to challenge Spain's dominance—and an arena for Spain to deflect that challenge.
Or perhaps the Confederations Cup's simple, compact format is more appealing than ever to a football audience sated with bloated, ever-expanding tournaments. With only eight teams—the host country, the reigning World Cup champions, and each continental champion (or runner-up, as is the case this year with Italy, in case of overlap)—it's certainly possible.
For whatever reason, the 2013 Confederations Cup feels like a more significant, dynamic sporting event than in past years, and the action on the pitch so far bears that out.
One consequence of teams taking the tournament seriously is that they are generally fielding their first-choice sides. This detracts from the scouting opportunity where clubs look for lesser-known players emerging from the squad.
With that being said, there are still some intriguing scouting opportunities for Arsenal at the Confederations Cup.
Here are 10 players Arsene Wenger should be watching in Brazil.
All transfer values supplied by Transfermarkt.
Julio Cesar, Brazil
Transfer Value: £3.5 million
Already extensively linked with an Arsenal move, per Metro, the Brazil keeper provides a supremely experienced and relatively cheap short-term option.
Diego Godin, Uruguay
Position: Central Defender
Club: Atletico Madrid
Transfer Value: £16 million
If, as tabloids including The Express are insisting, Laurent Koscielny leaves Arsenal this summer, Diego Godin would make a perfect replacement.
Sebastian Coates, Uruguay
Position: Central Defender
Transfer Value: £4 million
If Godin proves elusive, Arsenal could do worse than his Uruguay stand-in, Sebastian Coates. The 22-year-old impressed at Copa America 2011, but appears to have been written off by Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.
Maxi Pereira, Uruguay
Transfer Value: £12.5 million
As a short-term replacement for Bacary Sagna, Maxi Pereira would bring experience, competence and leadership while Carl Jenkinson continues his development.
Ignazio Abate, Italy
Club: AC Milan
Transfer Value: £10.5 million
The Azzurri right-back could also be an excellent replacement for Sagna and is entering the last year of his contract with AC Milan.
Makoto Hasebe, Japan
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Transfer Value: £2.6 million
An inexpensive option to bolster the squad, the Japan captain also provides cover at right-back.
Nnamdi Oduamadi, Nigeria
Club: Varese (Serie B, on loan from AC Milan)
Transfer Value: £400,000
Granted, Tahiti may not boast the stoutest defence, but there was quality in Nnamdi Oduamadi's Group B hat-trick. A true winger who can operate on either side and knows where the back of the net is could be worth a punt.
Club: Manchester United
Transfer Value: £19.5 million
A reliable source of goals even given limited playing time, Chicharito may find his role at Man United even more restricted under David Moyes, and would add valuable fire-power to the Arsenal attack.
Roberto Soldado, Spain
Transfer Value: £24.5 million
Roberto Soldado was more effective in the past La Liga and Champions League season than rumoured Arsenal target, per the Daily Mail, Gonzalo Higuain—potentially at a more palatable price.