Arsenal Transfer News: Signings That Will Be Possible Under New Puma Deal

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2014

Atletico's Diego Costa from Brazil stands with his hands on his hip during a Copa del Rey soccer match between Atletico de Madrid and Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Arsenal recently agreed a commercial partnership with Puma, sponsorship which could land the Gunners up to $250 million, according to CNN.

The club's official website confirms this is the "biggest deal" in both organisations' history. The result of this will not only see Arsenal don the famous leaping cat logo, it also has the capacity to determine which players will wear the new shirt.

Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Ivan Gazidis, chief executive of the club, stated as much during his interview with CNN:

"The money will begin to flow in (in July) and will be available for us to invest in the team," confirmed the board member.

With this in mind, let's take a look at the new signings who could arrive.


Julian Draxler, Schalke

Let's start with the most obvious. Julian Draxler appears to have become a household name at Arsenal over the last couple of months, despite Arsene Wenger insisting a move for the German is an "illusion", per ESPN FC.

This appears to be an illusion that is likely to come true some time in the future—be it by the end of January or in the summer. Draxler is an excellent fit for the Arsenal mould, and at 20 years old, is the type of player Wenger can help develop into a world football great.

The versatile Schalke midfielder is blessed with an excellent passing game, powerful long shots and the ability to get physical. He has scored a combined total of four goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League this season, per WhoScored, also adding five assists.

While Wenger would be paying for potential at £37 million, per Sky Sports, Draxler has already shown enough quality to suggest he will be worth every penny across the remainder of his career.


Alvaro Morata, Real Madrid

Another saga that has seemed to be on-off, Alvaro Morata's potential loan move to Arsenal is looking less likely by the day. Per El Confidencial (h/t to Alan Wilson of the Daily Mirror) Inter or Fiorentina could land his services but just like Draxler, Wenger would do well to snap the youngster up before it's too late.

Morata is another talent who looks destined to become one of football's top players, but he needs an opportunity to shine.

A Real Madrid side including Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema have limited the 21-year-old to a single start all season, per WhoScored, but he's still managed to score three goals when coming off the bench across 12 substitute appearances.

Morata is the type of forward Wenger could build his team around. He is effective at holding the ball up, can thread clever passes on the overlap, and he is a threat both in the air and on the ground. With a little bit of maturing, he is also likely to develop into a naturally physical specimen.

It's easy to picture the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere pinging the ball around behind Morata. With Arsenal's added funds, Wenger could do a lot worse than landing the unwanted Los Blancos starlet.


Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid

The timing of Arsenal's money—which will be received in July—could make this one extremely tricky. Diego Costa is arguably the most wanted striker in the world right now, and if he rocked up at the Emirates, it would send a defiant message to Europe's biggest clubs.

As ever, the Gunners would face a momentous battle to land the player. Chelsea have reportedly agreed a swap deal for Costa—which would see Thibaut Courtois permanently stay at Atletico Madrid, per Charlie Skillen of the Daily Mail—but neither club has confirmed such an agreement.

At the end of 2013, an alternate Wilson report suggested Wenger would need to spend £32 million to tie the Brazilian star up. This is peanuts in today's market, especially when you consider the lethality of Costa's game.

The 25-year-old has scored 23 goals and provided three assists in 24 appearances across La Liga and the Champions League, per WhoScored. His recent "drought" says it all about a player who has pace to burn:

Costa has a grittiness to his game, a slightly nasty edge that makes him such a determined worker. Much like Wayne Rooney, he is the type of player who threatens to boil over—but without this trait, his game wouldn't be as urgent, direct or aggressive.

Sang Tan/Associated Press

This isn't the type of individual Wenger currently possesses but it should be. Costa links excellently with wide players and takes up intelligent positions around the box, while he also tracks back to help.

He has a sense of urgency and a willingness to get the job done that is lacking from Olivier Giroud. With one large cheque, Wenger could show the world just how much he means business.