Arsenal

5 Players Who Are Ideal Fits for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal System

Willie GannonSenior Writer IMay 28, 2014

5 Players Who Are Ideal Fits for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal System

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    Paul White/Associated Press

    Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are about to enter their most important transfer window in over a decade. If the Gunners sign the right men, they will challenge for the Premier League title come May 2015.

    Le Prof will run the rule over many players over the coming months and intensely so during the World Cup in Brazil.

    The foremost thought in his mind, however, will be signing players who can slot straight into his team seamlessly. Last season Tottenham Hotspur signed seven new players during the summer transfer window.

    One year later, two managers and a £100 million outlay, none bar Christian Eriksen can be said to have settled at White Hart Lane. Le Prof will be loath to repeat the mistakes made by their north London rivals.

    For that reason, Wenger must sign players who will complement his team. He already knows what his shopping list looks like. He needs a right-back, central midfielder and centre-forward before strengthening any other position.

    Here, Bleacher Report offers five players linked with transfers to the Gunners who are ideal fits for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal system...

Right-Back: Nathaniel Clyne

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    With the news that Bacary Sagna is definitely leaving Arsenal, as per Sky Sports' Graeme Bailey, the hunt is now well and truly on for a new right-back.

    Carl Jenkinson did OK in his limited amount of appearances. Added together, they amount to little more than a decent cameo in a soap opera.

    Jenkinson only started seven games for the Gunners in the Premier League last term and simply cannot be counted upon to be ready to fill the departing Sagna's hefty-sized shoes.

    Arsene Wenger is on the lookout for a new right-back, according to a multitude of sources.

    The Daily Mirror's John Cross has the Gunners chasing Atsuto Uchida of Schalke 04, while Jeremy Wilson of the Independent has Wenger tracking Toulouse's Serge Aurier. The best fit, however, is much closer to home in Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne.

    Clyne has progressed massively under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino. Indeed, the new Tottenham Hotspur boss improved a great many players during his time at the south coast club.

    At 23, Clyne is just one year older than Jenkinson, but in terms of experience he is far more advanced. He started 20 times for the Saints last year and made the right-back position his own before injury interrupted his season. Clyne patrols the right-side of the pitch with great vigilance and offers power, pace and good passing vision.

    He created 25 goalscoring chances in 25 games last term, according to WhoScored.com, which is actually greater than Sagna who only contributed 21 from 35 games.

    Clyne, a very good short passer of the ball with a tigerish tackle, would be available for around £15 million. They will face competition for the future England star by Liverpool who, according to Simon Austin of Mirror Sport, see him as the ideal long-term replacement for Glen Johnson.

Centre-Midfield: Gareth Barry

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    It is no secret that Mikel Arteta is nearing the end of his days at Arsenal. The inspirational midfielder has lost a yard of pace over the last year or two and as a result, his influence on top-class games is dwindling.

    Arteta, 33 next March, is also out of contract at the end of next season, as per Transfermarkt.

    Ironically, the player Arsenal have been linked to in recent weeks as the heir apparent to Arteta is also 33.

    Gareth Barry was released by Manchester City at the end of the season after five years with the Premier League champions. Barry, on loan at Everton for last season, was excellent for Roberto Martinez and now has a host of clubs tracking him as a result.

    The Daily Star's Gary Jones has Arsenal, West Ham United and Everton all vying for position in the race to sign the ultra-fit central midfielder.

    Barry would slot straight into the Arsenal team without having to break sweat. The Gunners use a similar system to that of Martinez and Roberto Mancini, who both employed the 33-year-old as the anchorman in midfield. 

    Disciplined to the point of being the football equivalent of a martial arts Grandmaster. He is a footballer's footballer and is happy to provide the foundation for the more creative players to flourish and plays without any sense of ego.

    He is a superb pro and looks after himself both on and off the field and is exactly the kind of elder statesman that Arsene Wenger needs in his team if they are to launch a realistic title challenge next season.

Left-Midfield/Attack: Julian Draxler

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    Julian Draxler has long been linked with a transfer to Arsenal. At one stage last January, many Gunners were convinced that the young German international was the Second Coming and that he was on his way to joining their club.

    The rumors, however, linking Draxler with a move to Arsenal are beginning to cool off. As per the Daily ExpressJulian Draxler's agent, Roger Wittman, said:

    Why should a player leave the club if the club have just built a top team?

    I also think it's good if players stick to what they have signed.

    It would take an awful lot to happen for one of the two [Draxler and Jefferson Farfan] of them to leave. And even then I'm not sure it would be possible.

    The players understand that there is currently a lot of peace at the club and a lot of optimism about their future there.

    The 20-year-old is an exceptional talent and is valued at around £35 million. The reason for such a high price for one so young is because Draxler is the real deal.

    The predominately left-sided player is good enough to fit into any team in Europe. He has pace to burn, works tirelessly for the team and possesses the sort of vision that few players are blessed with. Last season he created a superb 2.3 goalscoring chances per game and 59 in total from just 26 Bundesliga matches according to Squawka.

    He would be an outstanding addition to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger knows this to be true but does he have the conviction to pay for it?

Left-Midfield/Attack: Antoine Griezmann

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    Valued at half the price of Julian Draxler is the equally impressive Antoine Griezmann.

    Like Draxler, Arsenal have also been linked with Griezmann for what must seem like eons to their many fans.

    Last December, Metro's Jamie Sanderson strongly linked Arsenal with a move for the French international in the January transfer window. The move obviously never happened and Arsene Wenger deciding not to sign a striker can be directly linked to Arsenal dropping off the pace for the Premier League title.

    Metro is now reporting that Wenger has launched an £18 million bid for the star. Tutto Mercato (in Italian), however, have the 23-year-old heading to Paris Saint-Germain FC after the French champions activated his £26 million buy-out clause, as per the Daily Mirror.

    Like Draxler, Griezmann would slot into Arsenal without much fuss. In many ways, signing the left-sided-midfielder-cum-striker makes a huge amount of sense.

    Griezmann ticks all the boxes for an Arsenal player. He is quick, athletic, creative, highly technical and superbly fit. 

    Last season, Wenger did not have the conviction to challenge Liverpool after they rejected his bid of £40 million plus £1. In the end he missed out on the player of the season because he was afraid to commit to the transfer.

    He should not make the same mistake again.

Centre-Forward: Karim Benzema

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    Real Madrid are believed to want to offload Karim Benzema so they can fund a massive bid for Liverpool's Luis Suarez, according to Ben Jefferson of the Express.

    Suarez signed a new contract with the Reds following Arsenal's botched transfer bid last season. The Daily Mail's Joe Bernstein maintains that the Uruguayan now has a £70 million buyout clause in his contract.

    Arsenal have been linked with a sensational move for the striker in recent days following Arsene Wenger's comments about the Frenchman while offering analysis for the Champions League final for French TV station, TF1.

    Squawka.com report that Le Prof said that Benzema could have played his final game for Real Madrid and that he will certainly play in the Premier League one day.

    Wenger usually chooses his words with great care, so when he says something so contentious, it is worth making note.

    Benzema would offer the kind of pace, penetration and movement that his French international teammate, Olivier Giroud, can only dream of. Giroud, the more physical man, is nowhere near as dangerous on or off the ball as Benzema.

    Altogether, Giroud has played 313 top-flight games and has scored 132 goals. Benzema, on the other hand, has played 403 games and has scored 192 times.

    The idea of pairing the duo up makes for a tantalizing thought and Benzema's high mobility and ability to drift wide would present Wenger with phenomenal attacking options.

    There is little doubt that Benzema would improve Arsenal.

    If Wenger can sign the striker for less than he offered for Suarez last year, while helping Real Madrid to snatch the Reds forward, it would be a deal too good to turn down for a multitude of reasons.

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