Arsenal Transfer Prospects: 6 Ideal Signings Arsene Wenger Can Make This Summer
After a dismal conclusion to 2010/2011 in which Arsenal's notorious trophy drought was extended to a sixth successive season, manager Arsene Wenger has vowed to implement changes into his young squad as the need for success intensifies. Boasting an increased transfer budget enabling a rare freedom for the Frenchman to target high calibre players rather than promising youngsters, Wenger has the opportunity to immensely strengthen the Gunners title bid for 2011/2012.
But just what is required for the North London giants to resurrect the glory days of the late 1990's and early 2000's. Many have argued and debated what is lacking in such a talented squad that over the last few seasons has matured and developed into fruition, yet still cannot erode the overwhelming burden of little silverware.
The Gunners' have come agonisingly close, yet appear to fall at the final hurdle. The 2006 UEFA Champions League final, the 2007 League Cup final, the 2007/2008 English Premier League title race and few will forget 2010/2011 when Arsenal endured a horrific demise that begun from League Cup final heartbreak and unraveled a hugely promising campaign.
But what new presences that are within range can help Arsene Wenger and his side eradicate the long over due satisfaction for silverware? As expected, the current summer transfer window has ensured rapid speculation revolving around Arsenal, but the most authentic news appears to be emerging internally with a number of squad players threatening to depart from the Emirates.
Nonetheless, Wenger possesses money to spend and, fortunately, there are a number of high octane players on the market which are more than acquirable for the Frenchman. So from all the rumours and speculation, this slide establishes the six ideal signings Arsene Wenger can make this summer that will surely boost Arsenal's title aspirations in 2011/2012.
6. Emilio Izaguirre-Celtic
The SPFA Players' Player of the Year, Clydesdale Bank SPL Player of the Year, Celtics Players' Player of the Year, Scottish Football Writers Player of the Year alongside achieving the Scottish Cup with Celtic.
2010/2011 was a stellar campaign for left back Emilio Izaguirre, what was even more impressive was it was the Honduran's first season in the Scottish Premier League after enjoying eight seasons with C.D Motagua in the Honduras first division.
The 25 year old was outstanding for Scottish giants Celtic at left back, conveying superb composure and strength defensively beside impressive speed and balance. The Honduras international was also a prominent attacking force, possessing a vicious cross and often contributing damaging flank runs.
As stated prior, a number of key players could be departing the Arsenal squad. Veteran left back Gael Clichy looms as one. The Frenchman has emerged as one of the likeliest to depart the Emirates after growing frustrated with the lack of silverware materializing in North London.
Despite the 25 year old also enduring a lapse in form and calibre over the last few seasons, the highly renowned full back has been linked with a number of moves to the likes of Inter Milan, Liverpool, Juventus and Real Madrid.
Everton's Leighton Baines was viewed as the ideal replacement for Clichy, however, David Moyes is eager to maintain the respected Englishman at Goodison Park with up to £25 million rumoured to tempt the Merseyside club. Therefore, Emilio Izaguirre is the ideal left back signing for Wenger and will cost under £10 million.
5. Christopher Samba-Blackburn
Arguably the main position Wenger is aiming to strengthen is the defensive line, particularly the central defence, which has emerged as somewhat of an Achilles heel for the Gunners. 2010/2011 saw Arsenal's central defence perform gallantly but ultimately unsuccessfully.
A virtually season ending Achilles injury to defensive leader Thomas Vermaelen ensured Premier League debutantes Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci—alongside Johan Djourou, who had only just overcome a severe knee injury—were the main central defenders.
Unfortunately, as the campaign wore on, the Gunners struggled to maintain a strong defensive record as teams began to counter Arsenal from set pieces and on the overlap. There have been demands for Wenger to secure the services of a quality central defender for many seasons now and many believe Arsenal will fulfill the ominous potential should they acquire one.
As expected numerous big name defenders have been linked with a move to the Emirates and it appears Christopher Samba is exactly what is required to strengthen the Arsenal defensive roster. The giant Congolese centre half has become one of the toughest and strongest defenders in the EPL as the 27 year old continues to impress with Blackburn.
Since arriving at Ewood Park in 2007 from German outfit Hertha Berlin, Samba has become renowned for his strength and composure at the back alongside his immense aerial threat. At an outstanding 1.93 meters, the DR Congo international is one of the biggest and imposing players in World Football and possesses the ability to eradicate Arsenal's weakness when defending and attacking aerially.
Furthermore, the 27 year old is a natural leader, currently boasting the captains armband for Steve Kean's side. As well as his impressive speed and evident power, Samba is the ideal defensive signing Wenger requires who possesses sufficient English Premier League experience.
The Congolese defender has ambitions to grace Arsenal colours alongside aspirations to play UEFA Champions League football and achieve an EPL triumph. Blackburn are keen to maintain their giant leader, but Wenger could be able to secure Samba for less than £15 million as the likes of Henri Lansbury, Carlos Vela or Ignais Miguel are sent on loan to Rovers.
4. 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.
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. Gervinho-Lille OSC
Once things for certain, Arsenal need players who are thoroughly devoted to the cause at hand. Already this summer has exposed the internal disturbances at the Gunners with key players Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Denilson and Nicklas Bendnter all emerging as players who will depart due to respective problems of wages, unhappiness and fan abuse.
If Arsenal are to succeed, there needs to be an underlying depth of commitment and chemistry. Ivorian striker Gervinho has stated he is desperate to join Arsenal, demanding side Lille allow him to join this summer.
Lille stormed to their first Ligue 1 title in 57 years, 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 is capable of playing all along the front line at an impressive tempo and also possess admirable strength and aerial ability.
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. Eden Hazard-Lille
With Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, two of Arsenal's and world football's most creative devastating attackers potentially departing the Gunners, Wenger needs to utilize funds in order to materialize a sterling replacement. One name certainly tops the list.
The Tubize youngster 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's 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.
1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain-Southampton
Touted as the next Theo Walcott, it appeared Arsenal had beaten off the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham during January after a £10 million deal with Southampton looked destined. However, it failed to materialize properly and the 17 year old sensation is still up for grabs.
An amazing promise, Chamberlain is a hugely fast and clever winger whose performances in League One this campaign ensured the youngster was named in the PFA League One Team of the Year. Wenger is still eager to finally secure Chamberlain as it is evident the English midfielder is destined for glory.
Chamberlain can provide a sterling increase in attacking depth before eventually developing into potentially the next Lionel Messi.