No More Risks, Time for Arsenal to Invest in Proven Premier League Talent
With a reported £40 million and anything from £20 million to £80 million in transfer fees for wantaway players and dead weight. Arsenal fans are certain to see at least two or three new faces, Wenger's forays into big risk players have equally gained us points as well as lost them.
Chamakh went straight into the first team and proved he was worthy of holding the front line while Koscielny and Squillaci took around six months and a few points dropped to become reliable.
In the long term, the risk on the defenders will pay off as they are ready for next season, in the more disappointing present, we now find ourselves out of the premier league chase bar a miracle or two.
We do have quite a few promising players aiming to return and make themselves a permanent fixture in our first team. But Wenger should choose to follow his old formula of established players with a few youngsters to fill in the gaps rather than solely rely on the kids as proved ineffective by the last 6 seasons.
While there are plenty of players from abroad there is also a risk of them taking a while to find their feet. Mexes could be our new Sagna in the middle or end up being another Squillaci, Hazard equally could be our new Nasri, who took a few seasons to really shine.
So I'm going to look towards the Premier League talent that would hopefully fit right into the team while avoiding an expensive catastrophe of Torres-sized proportions.
Fabianski and Mannone Out, Schwarzer Green or Stockdale in
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First we'll begin with our keepers, Fabianski and Mannone. They are both good, promising keepers but do suffer from dodgy form and a few niggling injuries.
Fabianski, finally and somewhat fruitlessly showed how good he can be at his best, though that can largely be attributed to a player whose form seems to stem from his confidence. There is a potential return of the player once lovingly nicknamed "Vampire." There's no telling which player will return and which player we will after a spell on the bench.
Mannone, seemingly forgotten after a somewhat excellent debut has been sent out on loan to Hull and has impressed but niggling injuries and inconsistency may see him sold to make room for another emerging talent in Martinez.
Szczesny will be our No. 1 so any replacement would have to accept that and be happy in a few games in the league and domestic cup runs.
Schwarzer would cost us virtually nothing and he would probably get a few of those Champion's leagues games he was after. He's 38 but if he can emulate Van der Sar, he'll be a great asset. With a strong pair of hands and fairly consistent play, he should have two more seasons in him, which would leave enough room for Szczesny to develop and any other young talent to take over.
Stockdale is a favourite of mine and Fulham would want to keep him as the long term successor to Schwarzer. Young and solid, he'll get better and a decent run in our ranks before inevitably letting him go could be another option.
Green could also be a cheap alternative if they do go down and Parker leaves in the summer. A veteran and a great keeper often let down more because of the team in front of him than of his own volition.
He may not be happy with the idea of spending time on the bench after some of his potentially season saving heroics but a option nonetheless.
Clichy Eboue and Squillaci Out, Baines, Cahill and Coleman in
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I haven't been a fan of Wenger's management of our defence and Squillaci is still not good enough to accomplish our high goals. The frenchman came in and already looked ready for retirement, he's been a pretty solid fixture more recently but there's plenty of better players to bring in.
Eboue has been a fan favourite but has found himself stuck between right winger and right back. He's fine defensively, solid though not exactly fantastic, and he does seem resigned to being Sagna's understudy and is becoming surplus as he's not getting any younger.
Clichy on the other hand, divides many opinions. He, like Sagna, can be pretty solid though sometimes suffers from bouts of positional confusion and awful crossing. While I wouldn't mind if he stays, I wouldn't mind if he left either, he also seems set on winning something shiny and a potential Bosman would really hurt.
Cahill is a player we were heavily linked to and even more so as Bolton purchased Wheater for his inevitable transfer that never materialized. He won't come cheap—£20 million at a minimum—but he may be well worth it.
A tall and strong centeback, would be comfortable in our back four and would give some of the defenders something to think about as they've enjoyed long spells in the team simply because we had no one else available.
We could also raid both of Everton's full backs which could cost us anywhere between £20-30 million for two of the best full backs in the league. Both are pacey, attacking and strong at the back, their tenacity for a improving Everton side that has kept their team in the top half.
Baines would act as a direct replacement for Clichy while Coleman would be an ideal successor to Sagna. Though Coleman would want more playing time, as he's talented enough to oust Sagna.
The attacking benefits would definitely help, though the trio would nearly wipe out the transfer funds handed to Wenger.
Diaby, Denilson and Rosicky Out, Parker and Young in
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Diaby and Denilson have been in the squad for a while now and they've had plenty of chances to impress, but both have failed to bring something to the team.
Denilson is a defensive midfielder who's better described as a centre midfielder. His passing is as accurate as it is safe but doesn't bring anything Wilshere already has. A recurring theme for the Brazilian is chopping down anybody that looks like they are going to pace him and that happens quite a bit.
Diaby however, is more talented but not quite good enough defending or attacking. However, he has found himself playing both roles when called upon. He's pretty good dribbling but always tries to beat that extra man and has a problem with niggly injuries. He is in and out of the squad for long spells and a much more reliable. Ramsey's prescence in the ranks should push him past bench warmer to surplus.
Rosicky brings nothing to the team as an expensive bench warmer. Experience counts for nothing if he has the ability to be anonymous on a pitch with 23 people on it.
With Frimpong coming back after a long lay off, we have the prospect of a talented young successor to Song and could be our next potential break out star emulating Wilshere. However he may see time on loan and the experienced legs of Scott Parker would help us physically in the middle of the pitch.
He's not exactly young, but he's a useful squad player, already forming a good-looking partnership with Wilshere. It's not unlike Cesc to spend time in the injury room so the prospect of three tough tackling midfielders to complement our attacking game sounds promising.
With West Ham going down, he'll be available for around £8 million and would bring that extra bit of passion, we've been inexplicably be without for the last few games. Playing 30 games every bit as passionately as he played the day the League started would be a nice change to the perpetually smug Bendtner.
£15 million for Ashley Young would be a good investment as he'd bring a better threat from his crossing. Pacey and would fit in the Arsenal passing game with ease. At times we've been without a spark on the flanks with Walcott always injured and Arshavin or Nasri not penetrating enough.
He also would've been a better transfer five seasons ago as Wenger chose to bring in Rosicky instead of Young. We're unlikely to have any wingers from the youth ranks come up or be allowed to play but certainly a player to look at if Nasri doesn't sign a new contract.
Bendtner and Chamakh Out, Sturridge or Anelka in
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Bendtner's unflinching confidence has been an issue as his performances remain erratic. Sometimes saviour, sometimes waste, he found a home on the right wing until Wenger decided not to do that any more. A negative influence in the dressing room and as talented as he is, not the hitman we need.
Chamakh, on the other hand, is very borderline; he had a great half season but lost a lot of form after spending time on the bench and doesn't link up as well with his teammates. He still provides a great workhorse performance and is still one of the better players aerially.
He hasn't always worked well in a 442 and his tackling back often leaves him missing when played in a 451. He's a good player so one we could also profit from.
In our current 451 we can only facilitate two strikers any more and it becomes a mess in terms of playing time. It would be fine unless we had a striker who can spend months at a time injured. While his return this season has seen his goals tally hit a joint season high of 20 goals, he also seems to be stronger physically.
There's not many great hitmen out there in the Prem and Elmander has been touted, but his scoring form is erratic despite being another free transfer to add to our ranks. However, my eyes are firmly on either Anelka or Sturridge.
Both face the possibility of more bench time next season at Chelsea at differing points of their career. Drogba is likely to stay, as is Torres. The return of Benayoun on the right and the prospect of another new name could shift the balance further.
Anelka is a proven goalscorer and brings all the experience you'd want. While his pace may be gone he can easily spearhead our attack, possibly allowing Van Persie to shift onto the right so he can cut in more on his sweet left. Strong and tall, but still with a deft touch he shouldn't break the bank and would be a good sub for Van Persie.
As for Sturridge, he is very much a raw talent. He wouldn't come cheap but he left Man City to pursue more playing time and it's something he's not guaranteed when he returns. He can also lead our attack, strong, pacey and developing into a great goalscorer.