Arsenal Transfer News: 10 Surprise Signings Wenger May Make Before Summer Ends
Cesc Fabregas has finally completed his inevitable move to boyhood club Barcelona after years of speculation, turmoil and disarray. The Arsenal captain was sold for £35 million in a deal that was destined to occur after Arsenal's dismal conclusion to 2010-2011.
However, problems intensify for the Gunners, as key playmaker Samir Nasri is set to finalize a £23 million move to Manchester City in the coming days.
It may seem now that Arsene Wenger's squad is creatively starved and deprived of flair, speed and midfield direction.
However, the Frenchman now has upward £80 million to spend with the inclusion of the Arsenal board implementing an extended transfer budget.
Wenger has more than sufficient funds to satisfy Arsenal fans with replacements that can mitigate the dynamic duo's departures. The Frenchman promised at the commencement of the summer that quality changes would be implemented, but has since failed to live up to the claim.
The only notable activity from Wenger this summer was the acquisition of Ivorian sharpshooter Gervinho from French champions OSC Lille for £10.5 million. The 24-year-old has evoked promise and skill in the preseason and Arsenal's first Premier League encounter of 2011-2012 against Newcastle, despite managing to receive a straight red card.
The Arsenal manager now has all the excess motivation he requires to adequately pursue high-octane transfers and the desired funds. A number of high calibre players such as Carlos Tevez and Wesley Sneijder have been linked with the Gunners, and although funds are prominent, Wenger is unlikely to chase players with high wage demands.
So with just more than two weeks to go in the 2011 Summer Transfer Window and the need for success at the Emirates reaching an all-time high, just who will Wenger sign?
Bleacher Report establishes in this slideshow 10 shocking signings Arsene Wenger may make before the summer ends in an attempt to eradicate talks of Arsenal's 2011-2012 becoming futile.
10. Marvin Martin, FC Sochaux
The 23-year-old has become one of the strongest and efficient midfielders in France after successive stellar seasons with Ligue 1 outfit Sochaux. A composed, intelligent and clinical midfielder, Martin amassed 40 appearances, four goals and a superb 17 assists during 2010-2011 to earn the nickname "Little Xavi."
The Frenchman has emerged as a prime replacement for Cesc Fabregas after reports materialized Wenger is a keen admirer of the French playmaker. French players often thrive at Arsenal under Wenger, and Martin evokes the abilities and traits to star in the Red and White.
The young gun is still a developing prospect, yet conveys natural leadership in the heart of both Sochaux and the France National Team's midfield. Martin would be a cheap yet effective acquisition for Wenger, particularly compared to other candidates, with Sochaux rumoured to be prepared to accept a bid around £12 million.
9. Yann M'Vila, Stade Rennais
The Frenchman is touted as the future of French football after consecutive strong seasons in Ligue 1 with Rennes. The 21-year-old was a consistent and dynamic presence for the Red and Blacks, managing 41 appearances and three goals to earn a place in the UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year.
A mainstay in the French National Team, M'Villa is a strong and tenacious defensive midfielder who possesses an impressive array of attacking traits and is touted as a future midfield star in World Football. Chelsea, Inter Milan and Manchester United have all expressed interested in the youngster, but Wenger's French influence could enable Arsenal to gain the upper hand in pursing Yann M'Vila.
However, Rennes is demanding up to £15 million for their midfielder maestro.
8. Robert Huth, Stoke City
Arsene Wenger still desires a defensive signing in a bid to eradicate the lingering defensive frailties that haunted the Gunners last season. The likes of Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Christopher Samba have all been greatly linked with a move to the Emirates, however a proper deal is yet to materialize.
Stoke City centre half Robert Huth could well emerge as the ideal defensive signing for Wenger as the German begins to command attention from a number of clubs.
The 26-year-old has become a consistent, no-nonsense for the Potters since coming from Middlesbrough in 2009. Huth's 44 appearances and nine goals in 2010-2011 ensured the German international was named Stoke City Player of the Year.
A Chelsea youth and former Premier League champion with the Blues, the "Berlin Wall" has more than 150 appearances in the Premier League and is renowned for his aggression, strength and aerial prowess. Huth would be a beneficial defensive signing for the Gunners, but Stoke City manager Tony Pulis values defender Ryan Shawcross at £18 million, and Huth is said to be worth only slightly less.
7. Ever Banega, Valencia
The Argentinian midfielder personifies determination, strength, skill and intelligence. A young, energetic and effective midfielder, Ever Banega has become one of the most consistent midfielders in the Spanish La Liga as Valencia continues to maintain its presence at the top of Spanish football.
The 23-year-old has amassed more than 110 appearances in Spain and has been touted as a prospect who can thrive in the Premier League due to his skill and tenacity. A strong candidate to replace both Nasri of Fabregas, Banega has been linked with moves to both Real Madrid and Inter Milan.
However, for £16 million, Wenger could be able to tempt Valencia and acquire an emphatic midfield prospect.
6. Moussa Sissoko, Toulouse FC
The French midfielder has long been touted as a future Arsenal star due to his typical Wenger style of play. Young, French, quick, imposing and incisive, Sissoko has gathered comparisons to legendary Gunners midfielder Patrick Vieira.
The 21-year-old has become an emphatic presence for Toulouse since making his debut as a 17-year-old in 2007. Boasting more than 150 appearances for the TFC, the playmaker is regarded as one of the strongest midfielders in Ligue 1 and is viewed as a natural leader at a young age.
5. Riccardo Montolivo, Fiorentina
A tantalizing prospect, Riccardo Montolivo (like Samir Nasri), possesses a contract that expires in 2012, and the Italian is refusing to extend his contract at Fiorentina ensuring the Italian giants are willing to sell their devastating playmaker.
The 26-year-old would be a superb transfer for the Gunners.
Blessed with an array of flair, creativity, strength and efficiency, the midfielder is regarded as one of the stars of Italy and the Serie A. A destructive presence in the Lilies' midfield, Montolivo is a natural leader who has more than 250 Serie A appearances.
AC Milan is eager to secure the playmaker, but is tentative with Fiorentina demanding close to £25 million for him.
However, if the Italian giants fail to sell this summer, they risk losing Riccardo Montolivo for free on a Bosman next summer.
4. Andre Ayew, Olympique De Marseille
The Ghanaian has been a target for Wenger for a number of seasons and is highly rated by Arsenal scouts. The winger has excelled in the French Ligue 1 on both loan spells and with Marseille.
The 21-year-old was particularly emphatic last season with 50 appearances and 13 goals, along with consideration as one of the best players of the season.
Blessed with strength, speed, versatility and a vicious strike, the Ghana international is an experienced attacker who, at 21 years old, still has a glistening future. Valued at £12 million, the youngster is a cheap and effective replacement for Samir Nasri, who can install a lacking clinical edge to the Gunners.
3. Hulk-FC, Porto
The heroically-named striker is a strong, powerful option who combines speed and strength impressively to bring a threatening approach to a side's front line.
The Porto striker has enjoyed a stellar season. The Dragons took out the Portuguese crown and the UEFA Cup with Hulk contributing 36 goals in 51 appearances, ensuring the former Tokyo Verdy striker has become one of the most prolific strikers in Europe.
Wenger has tracked the Brazilian for a number of years now, but a deal has failed to materialize. However, with Bendtner's uncertain future, Hulk has emerged as a prime replacement who could thrive in the English Premier League.
With ambitions to play in both the EPL and UEFA Champions League, Wenger's side is an attractive opportunity for Hulk, but FC Porto is eager to maintain its powerful sharpshooter.
2. Radamel Falcao, FC Porto
The Colombian has become one of the most chased and admired strikers in World Football after consecutive stellar seasons for FC Porto. Falcao amassed 34 goals in 43 appearances during 2009-2010 before improving the rate with 38 in 42 last season, as Porto achieved great success with the Portuguese title and the UEFA Cup.
The 25-year-old, who has has drawn comparisons to Arsenal legend and World Football hero Theirry Henry, desires a move to England with Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal all eager to acquire the striker. Strong, clinical, quick and skillful, Falcao is an immense threat with the ball.
FC Porto was rumoured to demand more than £30 million, but that figure could easily drop. Nonetheless, Radamel Falcao would be a huge signing for the Gunners.
1. Raul Meireles, Liverpool
Despite achieving the 2011 PFA Fans' Player of the Year in a stellar debut season with the English Premier League, Raul Meireles appears surplus to requirements at Liverpool. With the Reds' manager spending heavily during the summer—acquiring the likes of midfield stars Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing, alongside maintaining consistent presences in Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva—the Portuguese playmaker could be on the move before the summer ceases.
A smart, strong and composed midfielder, the 28-year-old would be an ideal replacement for Cesc Fabregas in the heart of Arsenal's midfield. A natural leader and a creative force who possesses English Premier League experience, Wenger would immediately win back support of Arsenal fans with Meireles' acquisition.
Chelsea is also eager on the Portugal international, who is valued at around £18 million.