Arsenal Transfer News: Reported Targets Gunners Should Avoid in January

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 29, 2013

PORTO, PORTUGAL - OCTOBER 1:  Jackson Martinez of FC Porto in action during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between FC Porto and Club Atletico de Madrid held on October 1, 2013 at the Estadio do Dragao, in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Miguel Riopa/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

The first half of Arsenal's 2013/14 campaign has seen the club lay the foundations of what could become their first Premier League triumph in a decade, with January reinforcements likely to play a key role in any title bid.

However, it's essential that the Gunners trust in quality at this time of year, and not quantity.

Recent weeks and months have seen the north Londoners linked with a long line of global talent. Some of those players would be ideal business for the English giants, and others don't hold quite as much value.

In advance of what promises to be a hectic January transfer window, here are some of those star talents that Arsene Wenger's side should avoid.


Iker Casillas

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 27:  Iker Casillas of Real Madrid CF looks on during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Real Madrid CF and Galatasaray AS at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 27, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Gett
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Diego Lopez's rise to prominence as Real Madrid's first-choice goalkeeper has alerted several clubs, including Arsenal, to the potential availability of Iker Casillas.

According to the Mirror's Ben Burrows, Wenger may look to add some depth in between the sticks with the Spaniard's addition this winter, but one must ask whether there's really a need when Wojciech Szczesny is enjoying the best form of his career.

Tancredi Palmeri of CNN backs up the reports on Twitter:

The Polish international has maintained his spot as the Gunners' No. 1 this season, with Lukasz Fabianski and on-loan Emiliano Viviano providing backup from the bench.

At this point, Casillas seems like something of an unnecessary luxury at the Emirates, one whose arrival would make it difficult to juggle the first-team demands of multiple top-class stoppers.


Davy Klaassen

A youngster who has this season earned comparisons to past Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, Davy Klaassen has been tipped to follow the path of his compatriot in leaving Ajax for Arsenal in 2014.

However, the Amsterdam-based youngster is only at the very beginning of his development, and despite Simon Jones of the Daily Mail reporting that a move could come about in the new year, Arsenal would be better off leaving the 20-year-old where he is for now. 

As so many hyped youngsters have proven in the past, first-team football and consistent playing time is critical to the growth of any aspiring youngster. If Klaassen is to fulfill his billing as the second coming of Bergkamp, his interests are best served at one of the most proficient factories of young talent in the world.


Jackson Martinez

PORTO, PORTUGAL - AUGUST 25:  Jackson Martinez (C) of FC Porto is challenged during the Liga Zon Sagres match between FC Porto and Vitoria Guimaraes at Estadio do Dragao on August 25, 2012 in Porto, Portugal.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

It goes without saying that Jackson Martinez is a prolific scorer of goals. Just seven months after finishing as the Primeira Liga's top scorer in the 2012/13 campaign, the Porto forward is once again in the hunt for end-of-season silverware, bagging 12 goals in his first 14 league games of the season.

According to the Metro's Hannah Duncan, the Colombian striker recently admitted his admiration for the Premier League, saying:

Where would I like to play? When I was a child I rooted for Chelsea and Arsenal. I think the best championships are La Liga, the Premier League and the Bundesliga.

It is they [Porto] who have to decide what they want to do with me. If it is to continue here, or send it to a transfer depends very much on them.

However, Arsenal are in need of a very specific type of forward reinforcement this winter, and in a bid not to upset the revitalised form of Olivier Giroud, it may be best that the club don't chase a signing who would demand more playing time than a system maintaining the Frenchman would be able to provide.

What's more, while Martinez has operated largely in a 4-2-3-1 formation at the Estadio do Dragao this season, his style is of a completely different type to Giroud, and so a shift in tactics might be required in order to accommodate his presence.

Given the way things are currently going in north London, it's uncertain as to whether such a leap is what the club really needs right now.