Arsenal Transfer Prospect: Are Ligue 1 Trio the Perfect Transfers for Wenger?
Any high calibre Frenchman or player who is progressing strongly in the French Ligue 1 is almost certain to emerge as a prime transfer target for Arsenal. Since Arsene Wenger began his tenure at North London in 1996, the Gunners have become renowned for their French elegance, players and style.
Wenger currently boasts eight French players on his first team roster, the prominent nationality in the Arsenal squad. Furthermore the French tactician has established and managed certain French greats such as Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Sylvain Wiltord and Emmanuel Petit.
In the recent summer transfer window, Wenger's three signings were either French or from France's Ligue 1. Defender Laurent Koscielny arrived from Lorient FC for £10 million and is expected to make his national debut for France in the coming months. Veteran France international Sebastien Squillaci joined from Spanish giants Seville for £3.2 million, and Moroccan sharp shooter Marouane Chamakh was a free agent from Girondins Bordeaux.
There is no questioning the angle. French or Ligue 1 players are often of the highest calibre and thrive at the Emirates. So after a dismal 2010/2011 that ensured the extension of the Gunners' trophy drought for a sixth successive season, the need for success at Arsenal has intensified, resulting in Wenger achieving a much increased transfer budget.
The Frenchman is currently searching for high octane signings who can strengthen Arsenal's trophy bid for 2011/2012. Naturally, one immediately assumes Ligue 1 will be a popular destination for Wenger to acquire talent.
Numerous players have already been speculated with moves to North London with a handful of members from Lique 1, so the conclusion has been derived of the three players from Ligue 1 who could be just what Arsene Wenger is searching for.
1. Gervinho: Lille
Lille stormed to their first Ligue 1 title in 57 years alongside also achieving the Coup De France in 2010/2011, and striker Gervinho played an integral role, enjoying a stellar season. The Ivorian was outstanding at the front of the helm, contributing a superb 14 goals in 34 appearances and assisting on 10 occasions.
The 24-year-old is a powerful, clinical striker who is viewed as the ideal replacement for disgruntled Gunner Nicklas Bendtner. Gervinho has been heavily linked with a move to the Gunners, however, Liverpool and Manchester City are both keen investors. Fortunately, the Ivory Coast international desires a move to the Emirates alongside aspirations to grace UEFA Champions League football.
Gervinho is capable of playing all along the front line at an impressive tempo and also possess admirable strength and aerial threat. Destined to cost around £10-15 million, the former Le Mans striker is a strong signing for Arsenal and will strengthen their title bid next season.
2. Yann M'Vila: Rennes
Touted as the best midfield presence in France despite only boasting 20 years, Yann M'Vila has become a respected figure in Ligue 1 despite only emerging onto the scene last season. A stellar 2010/2011 of 41 appearances and three goals epitomized a rapid rise for the Rennes midfielder, who is currently tempting the biggest sides in Europe.
Arsenal midfield depth was considerably questioned during their horrific season after squad members failed to mitigate the absences of key players during injuries and rotations. Samba star Denilson and Czech play-maker Tomas Rosicky are currently destined to depart the Emirates, and M'Vila is arising as the perfect midfield signing for Arsene Wenger.
Primarily a defensive midfielder, the France international will thrive with the two-man defensive midfield deployed by Wenger and will enable the likes of Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas to enhance and fullfil their attacking calibre.
M'Vila is blessed with an imposing frame that is strong and composed. An incisive passing range, defensive strength and fitness combine to ensure the Frenchman is a tough opponent.
2011/2012 will see renowned defensive midfielder Alexandre Song and young gun Emmanuel Frimpong depart the Arsenal team squad in January and perform in the African Nations Cup for Cameroon and Ghana, respectively. This ensures two key defensive midfielders are absent from January to February, but fortunately with M'Vila's potential presence, the departures will be mitigated.
Are Ligue 1 trio just what Wenger needs?
Rennes are determined to maintain their star for the next season, but Wenger will be able to tempt the French outfit with a sum of up to £12 million alongside a loan spell for youngsters Francis Coquelin, Carlos Vela, Gilles Sunu or even Emmanuel Eboue. However, the Frenchman has competition from Real Madrid and Manchester United.
3. Eden Hazard: Lille
Eden Hazard is easily the most chased attacker in World Football at this current stage, and it is not difficult to see why some of the biggest clubs in Europe are willing to offer up to £30 million for the Belgian.
One of the quickest, most skilled and balanced wingers in World Football, Hazard has amassed over 143 appearances and 28 goals for the French champions alongside 20 caps for Belgium national side. And he is only 20.
The diminutive dynamo is a revelation in attack and was influential as the Mastiffs secured the Ligue 1 title with 52 appearances, 12 goals and 10 assists. Hazard is capable of playing all along the front line and if necessary the midfield, but is primarily a winger.
Composed and strong, the Belgium international is destined to thrive in the English Premier League and looms as the ideal attacking signing Wenger desires.
With Samir Nasri threatening to depart the Emirates, Hazard's presence would eradicate any lingering doubt, and at 20, there is still rapid development ahead for the Belgium star. Furthermore, although Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan are highly interested in Hazard, the Tubize youth greatly admires the Arsenal style of play.
However, it could cost Wenger up to £30 million.
So could this Ligue 1 trio be the perfect transfer solution for Arsene Wenger?
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