Arsenal Transfers: 8 Signings Which Will Save Arsène Wenger's Job
Fact: Manager Arsène Wenger spends ~£17.5 million on transfers per season.
So far he's already used up £1.75 million, and looks to have used another £11 million for Gervinho. That would leave him with £4.75 million to spend on reinforcements.
Yet it's more than likely that Wenger will "break the bank" by his standards to reinforce what looks to be a sinking ship at Arsenal.
Here are my eight signings which could save Wenger's job.
Is my number one choice a English centre back or an Italian centre midfielder?
1. Gary Cahill
- Club: Bolton Wanderers
- Position: Centre back
- Age: 25
- Nationality: English
Buying Gary Cahill will instil stability and consistency in an Arsenal backline which has been fragile and unreliable.
Why not Christopher Samba?
Samba signed a five year contract in 2010, so Blackburn Rovers have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating a transfer fee.
Bolton Wanders do not have the same luxury given Cahill’s contract ends next year.
Yes, he does have a buyout clause for £17million, but it’s irrelevant as there are no clubs willing to meet that sum.
As long as there are no clubs putting in higher bids than Arsenal, it is more than likely that Cahill will become an Arsenal player by the close of the transfer window.
Pros of signing Cahill: Solid, strong, and reliable.
Cons of signing Cahill: Samba is a better option, albeit a more expensive option.
2. Riccardo Montolivo
- Club: Fiorentina
- Position: Centre midfielder
- Age: 26
- Nationality: Italian
According to Marco Maioli at footballitaliano.co.uk, Riccardo Montolivo has declared that he will not sign a contract extension, even though his contract runs out next year.
PERFECT! Cesc Fàbregas to Barcelona, and Riccardo Montolivo to Arsenal.
Naturally three problems arise.
- 1) Fàbregas is a better player.
- 2) What are Montolivo’s intentions? Maybe he’s doing a Wayne Rooney in forcing a better contract.
- 3) Does Montolivo want to move to a sinking ship at Arsenal?
Montolivo is an exceptionally gifted midfielder, his vision and passing is world class, his defending at times can be good (when he tries), and he’s personifies every trait manager Arsène Wenger wants in an Arsenal midfielder.
With the signing of Montolivo, maybe Jack Wilshere will be given a more attacking role which allows someone as talented as he is to shine.
Pros of signing Montolivo: Tailored made for Arsenal.
Cons of signing Montolivo: Has every trait Fàbregas has… except goals.
3. César Navas
- Club: Rubin Kazan
- Position: Centre back
- Age: 31
- Nationality: Spanish
According to transfermarkt.co.uk, César Navas’ contract finishes by the end of the year.
Having watched him during Rubin Kazan’s UEFA Champions League campaign, he is a very obstinate and muscular defender.
I chuckled when reading sports.ru that cash-strapped Sevilla’s €1.5 million bid for Navas was rejected because Rubin Kazan had “high financial requirements”.
How much exactly do they value for an aging centre back that didn’t make it at Real Madrid, has never represented the Spanish senior national team, and oh his contract ends this year.
Why doesn’t Arsenal bid €3 million for Navas?
His presence in the squad will ensure manager Arsène Wenger has a more reliable option than say Laurent Koscielny, if someone like Thomas Vermaelen is struck down with injury.
Pros of signing Navas: His physicality will be a near perfect fit in the English Premier League.
Cons of signing Navas: Will his signing impact the performances of Koscielny and Johan Djourou?
4. Adel Taarabt
- Club: Queens Park Rangers
- Position: Attacking midfielder/right winger/left winger
- Age: 22
- Nationality: Moroccan
The Agence France-Presse reported Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock stating, “As far as his talk of wanting to go to Chelsea or Arsenal, I know he has a lot of friends at Arsenal”.
Taarabt’s skill level is world class, his showmanship puts bums on seats, and his goals and assists have been central to Queens Park Rangers’ promotion.
The problem still remains, he is a very selfish team player, and he only has one side to his game— attack.
You can get away with it, if you’re Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, but at best, Taarabt is a more efficient Denílson (the retired one).
That being said, Taarabt is a dynamic player whose incisive runs and exquisite skill could be what Arsenal need.
But can Arsenal sign him? If Qatar Investment Authority owned Paris Saint-Germain bid for Taarabt, then we know he won’t be calling Emirates home anytime soon.
Pros of signing Taarabt: Exceptionally gifted and dynamic player.
Cons of signing Taarabt: Warnock built the team around Taarabt which fostered such success, manager Arsène Wenger won’t be doing the same thing—will Taarabt have the same success?
- Club: São Paulo
- Position: Attacking midfielder
- Age: 18
- Nationality: Brazilian
You hear the likes of Javier Pastore and Eden Hazard as potential Arsenal players—they’re too expensive, so forget about them.
Let’s look at some of São Paulo’s transfers in the past decade.
- Hernanes for €10 million to Lazio in 2010
- Kaká for €8.5 million to A.C. Milan in 2003
- Grafite for €3.5 million to Le Mans in 2006
- Luís Fabiano for €1.875 to Porto in 2004
- Júlio Baptista for £1.75 million to Sevilla in 2003
Do you see a common theme? My goodness São Paulo must be pushovers, either that, or they consistently undervalue their players.
Oddly enough manager Arsène Wenger poached Denílson from São Paulo, yet he turned out neither a great passer, nor a great tackler, which translates to a mediocre player.
Why doesn’t Arsenal get into the position Palermo were they signed Pastore from Huracán for £5 million in 2007? How much is Pastores’ value now?
Tim Vickery at Sports Illustrated stated “Sao Paulo's Lucas duo potentially the next great Brazilian exports”.
The other Lucas, Lucas Piazón was sold to Chelsea in March for £5 million.
Will £5 million be enough to tempt São Paulo into selling Lucas to Arsenal?
Potentially Lucas could be another Nicolas Anelka for Wenger, who bought the talented Frenchman for £500 000, and sold him for £22.3 million.
Pros of signing Lucas: Prodigiously talented player, who could be a very shrewd investment.
Cons of signing Lucas: Just 18, and can he adapt to the physical nature of English Premier League?
6. Andrés Guardado
- Club: Deportivo La Coruña
- Position: Left winger
- Age: 24
- Nationality: Mexican
There was a time where Andrés Guardado and Filipe Luís were one of the liveliest combinations in La Liga.
Yet one feels that Guardado has the ability to produce more.
With Deportivo La Coruña relegated, Arsenal should poach someone with the quality of Guardado, and hope Carlos Vela can help Guardado settle into English life.
Pros of signing Guardado: Talented winger who’ll come at a cut price.
Cons of signing Guardado: Unlikely to enjoy English lifestyle.
7. Daniel Opare
- Club: Standard Liège
- Position: Right back
- Age: 20
- Nationality: Ghanaian
Daniel Opare was touted as one of the next best big things coming out of Africa after his stellar performances during the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Four years later, he’s at Standard Liège having failed to break into the Real Madrid first team, and finds himself behind the ever impressive Samuel Inkoom in the Ghanaian senior national team.
Opare speaks very good English and Ghanaweb.com reported him stating, “Every footballer want to progress. I have a dream to go to a much bigger league like England, France or Germany”.
Arsenal have already signed Carl Jenkinson, who can be the more defensive full back option, why not sign Opare, who’ll be the more offensive full back option?
Both youngsters can contend with jack of all trades master of none utility player Emmanuel Eboué as an option at right back, in the scenario that Bacary Sagna is injured.
Pros of signing Opare: Will come relatively cheap assuming Standard Liège are rational.
Cons of signing Opare: Didn’t make it at Real Madrid, so what’s to say he will make it at Arsenal?
8. Mikhail Sivakov
- Club: Cagliari
- Position: Centre midfielder
- Age: 23
- Nationality: Belarusian
Mikhail Sivakov really impressed me during the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.
He commanded the Belarusian midfield to great effect, he controlled the tempo, put in the hard yards and his distribution was excellent.
That being said, he has yet to cement a position as a Cagliari starter, mainly due to recuperating from knee surgery.
His contract ends next year, and Cagliari may be willing to part ways with Sivakov.
He would be a handy addition to the Arsenal squad.
Pros of signing Sivakov: Adds depth to the midfield.
Cons of signing Sivakov: Will he end up like Amaury Bischoff?