Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Forwards to Follow Alexis Sanchez to the Emirates

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2014

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Alexis Sanchez of Chile controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at Estadio Mineirao on June 28, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez is getting closer and closer to being confirmed as an Arsenal player. BBC Sport reporter David Ornstein has stated the Chile forward is about to undergo a medical to seal a deal worth close to £35 million:

Sanchez will add tremendous pace and intelligent movement to Arsenal's attack. However, the 25-year-old might not be the only addition to manager Arsene Wenger's revamped forward line.

The Gunners boss is reportedly also courting three more attackers. The trio, featuring Premier League ace and mooted long-term target Loic Remy, is defined by the pace of its members.

That's a quality Arsenal lacked up front for much of last season. The problem was most obvious once fleet-footed winger Theo Walcott succumbed to a season-ending knee injury in early January.

Without Walcott, the Gunners struggled to stretch defences, while towering target man Olivier Giroud lumbered on admirably. Wenger is clearly determined to field a quicker, more fluid attack this season.

Sanchez is just the start, and here are the targets who could follow him to the Emirates Stadium:

Loic Remy, Queens Park Rangers

Loic Remy is never far from a rumour linking him with a move to Arsenal. Daily Mirror writer John Cross is the latest to suggest Wenger still covets the cat-quick French international striker.

Cross suggests an £8 million deal has already been discussed with Remy's club, Queens Park Rangers:

And spending on the Gunners' attack, which relied almost entirely on Olivier Giroud last season, will not stop with the Chile World Cup forward, as there have been talks with Queens Park Rangers about Remy.

The 27-year-old France international - who scored 14 Premier League goals for Newcastle last season while on a year-long loan - is keen on the switch, having been spotted in the stands at the Emirates during an April match against West Brom.

Remy makes sense as a more natural centre-forward than Sanchez. Remy would be able to provide excellent cover for Giroud. The latter had no obvious, or at least credible, deputy last season.

That left the former Montpellier ace overworked, resulting in Arsenal being static and tame going forward in big games. Remy would offer different qualities to Giroud's strength and link play.

He has the kind of frightening pace that used to define Wenger's teams in attack. He also boasts a knack for pouncing on chances as soon as they appear.

In that sense, Remy is certainly a more assured and decisive finisher than Giroud. He would seriously challenge Arsenal's leading striker for playing time and be able to occupy a berth on the left. That position has been in a state of flux, while Lukas Podolski has earned only mixed reviews.

Remy is seen by many, including Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph, as part of Wenger's two-pronged approach for revamping last season's attack:

Given his reasonable value, quickness to get behind a defence and versatility, Remy makes a lot of sense as a potential complement to Sanchez.

Bernard, Shakhtar Donetsk

If Wenger looks beyond Remy, he could seek even more versatility in the form of Brazil international Bernard. reporter Wayne Veysey has stated Wenger wants to partner Sanchez with the diminutive Shakhtar Donetsk attacker:

The Gunners have learned that the 21-year-old wide forward is keen to move on from Shakhtar just 12 months after leaving his homeland to join the Ukraine club.

Wenger, who was on TV punditry duty as Bernard started for Brazil in their 7-1 World Cup semi-final humiliation at the hands of Germany on Wednesday night, has received encouraging scouting reports of the youngster.

Shakhtar value Bernard at around the £20m mark and Wenger is understood to be keen on making a move as Arsenal put the finishing touches to the capture of Sanchez.

Bernard was one of the few Brazil players who emerged form his nation's 7-1 mauling by Germany in the 2014 FIFA World cup semi-final with any credit.

He made some crafty and dangerous forward runs during the first half. Sadly, that movement was ignored by lacklustre teammates.

Bernard certainly has pace as well as excellent touch and close control. However, he managed just two goals for Donetsk last season, per That's hardly a glowing endorsement considering Arsenal's need for more goals and potency up front this season.

The Gunners were heavily linked with Bernard last summer, per John Drayton of The Daily Mail. However, the move never materialised.

This rumour could simply be a retread of past news, or perhaps Wenger really believes he can revitalise this young gem.

Bojan Krkic, FC Barcelona

If Wenger really wants a reclamation project, he is unlikely to find a tougher one than Bojan Krkic. The pint-sized forward was once considered a rising star at FC Barcelona but never came close to making the grade.

Yet that hasn't stopped Wenger from expressing interest, per Spanish publication Sport (h/t Daily Star writer Nick Lustig):

According to Spanish newspaper SPORT, Wenger wants to offer the out-of-favour forward a chance to kick-start his career again.

The Spaniard broke on to the scene at Barcelona aged 17 and his initial goal-scoring exploits saw him hailed as the next big star.

But Bojan, now 23, was unable to maintain this bright start and was subsequently sold to Roma in 2011, only for Barcelona to re-sign him two years later.

Bojan has since been told to find a new club, according to Daily Express reporter Jamie Anderson.

Wenger would be taking a major gamble on a player who has floundered for a quartet of clubs during stops in Spain, Italy and Holland. However, the Gunners chief was once famed for taking risks on undervalued players.

Bojan is a well-travelled and rapidly fading star.
Bojan is a well-travelled and rapidly fading star.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Bojan is certainly quick and can be a quality finisher. He could work well as a squad player along a new-look forward line defined by speed and varied movement.

If the imminent arrival of Sanchez, along with the latest rumoured targets, prove one thing, it's that Wenger wants a different style in attack this season.

In many ways, he is going back to his roots at Arsenal. Those roots were defined by quick and clever combination play between pacy, interchanging forwards.

If Wenger can follow the potential arrival of Sanchez by nabbing one of this trio, he'll have the kind of attack he wants this season.


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