Arsenal Transfer News: Club Must Stay Aggressive in Pursuit of Hakan Calhanoglu

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2013

TELFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 21:  Nick Powell (L) of England is challenged by Hakan Calhanoglu (R) of Turkey during the England U19's versus Turkey U19's International match at New Bucks Head Stadium on March 21, 2013 in Telford, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

With a chance to contend for multiple trophies this season, Arsenal have to be aggressive in the January transfer window. This includes going after players who are not necessarily available.

David Kent of the Daily Mail previously reported Arsenal's interest in Turkish midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, saying Arsene Wegner has been "keeping tabs" on the 19-year-old star.

However, the pursuit of the teenager hit a snag when his current club, Hamburg SV, said that he is not for sale. According to Keeghann Sinanan of, HSV sporting director Oliver Kreuzer explained he wanted to sign Calhanoglu to a long-term deal, saying: 

We want to extend Calhanoglu’s [contract] until 2018 in the near future. To date, no club from England has made contact with him. Of course, every player has a price. But we do not have any interest in selling him.

It is not our goal to make money from Hakan. That would be for us a big step backwards. [He] is the future, and should remain at HSV. He is keen on making a name for himself in the Bundesliga.

Obviously, this sets back an attempt to bring the phenomenon over to England. However, the key statement was that "every player has a price."

This idea has come into play numerous times over the years, but there might not be a better example than this summer's transfer of Gareth Bale. Tottenham had little interest in allowing him to leave, but eventually Real Madrid forced a move for a total of £78 million, according to FIFA.

While there is no chance of Calhanoglu going for this much money, Arsenal still have the ability to make a transfer a solid deal for everyone involved.

The player himself has implied that he would be open to a move if given a chance. Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express quoted Calhanoglu saying: "My goal is to play at Hamburg and eventually join a club in England or Spain in the future."

Even Kreuzer conceded that a move would be possible. According to David Kent of the Daily Mail, the club's director said: "I indeed believe that Hakan is not against prolonging his contract. But when Liverpool and Arsenal turn up at your doorstep the lad might reconsider."

Arsenal could offer the young player a chance to play for an elite club in one of the most competitive leagues in the world. With the Gunners advancing to the next stage of Champions League, there is even more opportunity to play against the best in the sport.

Additionally, Calhanoglu can learn to hone his skill with the guidance of another creative midfielder in Mesut Ozil, a player to whom he has been compared in the past. 

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during an Arsenal training session ahead of their UEFA Champions League group F match against Napoli at London Colney on December 10, 2013 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Gett
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

From the club's perspective, they could be adding one of the best young players in the game who can be a big part of the attack for years to come. He has already performed at a high level for Hamburg, scoring four goals and two assists in 14 appearances in Bundesliga.

Martin Laurence of called the player as the best teenager in the German league, ahead of highly rated players like Timo Werner and Max Meyer:

HSV's attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu may not be getting the same recognition as the likes of Meyer and Werner just yet but if the 19-year old continues his form from the weekend gone by he’ll soon be sharing their column inches...

His performances have already earned Calhanoglu a first senior international cap for Turkey, and with averages of 1.9 shots, 1.8 key passes, 1.6 successful dribbles and 1.4 accurate crosses per game he could become the poster boy for Fatih Terim's side in the years to come, hoping to follow in the footsteps of Arda Turan.

Even if Arsenal have a full roster at the moment, there will be plenty of chances for the midfielder to get on to the pitch and continue his development while helping out the club.

If he continues his progression, he could be the difference in some key matches for the rest of the season.

All that would be left would be negotiating a price that would allow Hamburg to part with the young player. Considering his inexperience, that should not be too much and likely less than £10 million.

Calhanoglu would certainly be worth this for Arsenal, and they should remain aggressive in order to complete this transfer during the January window.


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