Arsenal

Arsenal Transfer News: Arsene Wenger's Most Likely January Signings

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal makes his point during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park on December 29, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Christopher AtkinsContributor IDecember 31, 2013

The January transfer window springs open in just 24 hours and attention has now well and truly turned to the potential activity next month may bring.

Given that the current Premier League season is the closest in the competition's 20-year history, it can only be anticipated that the chance to bring in extra recruits will be seized upon with greater urgency than ever.

There is no team in the division that have not shown some sort of major weakness thus far and, despite topping the league at the halfway stage, Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side are no different to their rivals.

But, who are the most likely recruits for the Gunners at the midpoint of the season?

 

Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid)

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 30:  Alvaro Morata (R) of Real Madrid CF is tackled by Marc Valiente of Real Valladolid CF during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Valladolid CF at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on November 30, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Arsenal are in need for a back-up striking option for the crucial final months of the campaign, with an injury to Olivier Giroud potentially devastating to their chances of title success.

The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson insisted on Monday that the Gunners' interest in Real Madrid youngster Morata remains, with the youth international having started just one La Liga fixture this campaign.

The 21-year-old has been a consistent goalscorer in every team he has played for at youth level and has reached double figures for the past three seasons with Madrid's Castilla side in the Spanish second tier.

A natural predator, Morata's positioning and finishing prowess have always shone through and, while unexceptional physically, he is always likely to get himself on the scoresheet through intelligence alone.

For many years Wenger has been seeking a "fox in the box" and it may well be that Morata is the very player he has been looking for.

 

Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 11:  Mathieu Valbuena of France shoots at goal during the International Friendly match between France and Australia at Parc des Princes on October 11, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

Per the Daily Express' Charles Perrin, Marseille playmaker Mathieu Valbuena is another player firmly on the radar of the North London side ahead of the coming transfer window.

Arsenal are well subscribed in Valbuena's position, with the likes of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil also competing for attacking midfield berths. However, the report suggests that Wenger is prepared to move for his long-term flame after Aaron Ramsey's recent injury.

The diminutive midfielder is a crafty operator, using his speed and excellent technique to find space and play a killer pass as and when the opportunity should arise.

As a first-team regular with the Ligue 1 side, he will not come cheap. However, Valbuena would be another major boost to a club that have refound their mojo this season.

 

Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle)

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  Jack Wilshere of Arsenal shakes hands with Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle United after the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park on December 29, 2013 in Newcastle upon
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Per the Independent's James Orr, Wenger has said that he will not be returning with a bid for Cabaye in January. However, as the pressure ramps up in January, a bid for the Newcastle man would be little surprise.

Newcastle are performing well in the league this season and will not be inclined to sell their star midfielder. However, for Arsenal, it may be a worthwhile expense should silverware follow.

The Frenchman is experienced in the Premier League and should have no problem adapting to his new side. Despite his lack of size, he is a tough cookie and has a range of passing that few in the Premier League possess.

As an alternative for either Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey, Cabaye would be an exceptional signing but would not solve the issue of Mathieu Flamini being the club's only out-and-out defensive midfielder.

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