Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Per Mertesacker and Gunners' Top 5 Deadline Targets

James Walker@@JamesWalker90Analyst IAugust 31, 2011

Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Per Mertesacker and Gunners' Top 5 Deadline Targets

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    The crisis surrounding Arsenal’s transfer policy has been the most discussed subject during the summer transfer window.

    Contrary to tradition, a club's transfer policy has drawn more attention than speculation linking big-name players with expensive signings to the various giants in European football.

    After unwillingly losing his two best players to rival clubs, Arsene Wenger faces a battle against the clock to add some experience to a depleted and clueless-looking Arsenal squad.

    This slideshow will run through the five players who Wenger has the most hopes of signing before the window closes.

Per Mertesacker

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    From: Werder Bremen

    Fee: £10 million

    Arsenal’s desperate search for a strong centre back has led to reports that a deadline-day transfer could see German international Per Mertesacker join Arsenal from Werder Bremen.

    The Guardian reports that the 26-year-old defender will cost Arsenal a fee of around £10 million.

    The 6'6" defender has gained a reputation for his solid composure and ability to pull off fair, but firm, tackles.

    He will bring both height and experience to the Arsenal defence, something which the Gunners’ defence desperately lacks. His height means that he should help Arsenal improve their poor defensive record from set-pieces, while at the same time be a threat at the other end of the pitch when his team are on the attack.

    His deep style of play should gel well with Thomas Vermaelen, who likes to drift forward.

    One has to ask however, if Mertesacker is good enough now, why did Wenger not approach him earlier? Could this be a panic buy?


Gary Cahill

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    From: Bolton

    Fee: Unknown

    Arsenal have been closely linked with the Bolton and England centre back for much of the transfer window, but have been unsuccessful in securing Gary Cahill’s services thus far.

    Earlier this week, Bolton rejected a £6 million offer from Arsenal, with Owen Coyle telling BBC Sport:

    "When I make an offer for a player, I'd like to think it's in the right ball park.

    "But this wasn't even close. I'm only passing it on as a third party, but the word derisory doesn't even cover it."

    At 25, Cahill is something of a late bloomer. His experience is not as impressive as Mertesacker, but it would be a mistake to think that this has limited his technical ability.

    The 2008-09 player of the year for Bolton is a rock in defence, capable of consistently executing well timed tackles, winning headers and out-muscling strikers for the ball. His style of football would see him link up well with Vermaelen in the centre of defence.

    One problem Arsenal may have in signing Cahill, however, is a tendency to play too far forward. Like Vermaelen, Cahill likes to run with the ball, which leaves him at risk of being caught out of position on the counter attack.

    Wenger’s hopes of signing the centre back may be further hampered by reports that North London rivals Tottenham are also interested in Bolton’s defensive rock.

    The Daily Mail, Metro and Daily Mirror all report that there is a very real risk of Spurs gazumping Arsenal.

Park Chu-Young

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    From: Monaco

    Fee: £3 million to £5 million

    Reports at the time of writing have confirmed that Arsenal have officially signed South Korean captain Park Chu-Young.

    A report on the official Arsenal website has confirmed on the clubs website that finalising the deal will be nothing more than a mere formality.

    Now that he has officially joined from Monaco, Park will the No. 9 shirt.

    The Guardian quotes the 25 year old striker saying:

    "I just want to show how good I am and prove myself," the 26-year-old South Korea captain said.

    "In my opinion this is a great club, now I have to show what I can do on the pitch. I will never give up, I will show heart, I will give everything and I hope [the fans] will support me."

Andre Santos

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    From: Fenerbache

    Fee: £6.2 million

    BBC Sport last night reported that Fenerbache left-back Andre Santos was close to signing for the Gunners.

    Today, it can be confirmed that Arsene Wenger has secured the services of his target.

    The £7 million transfer of Gael Clichy to Manchester City has left a gaping hole at left back. Although Kieron Gibbs has shown glimpses of his potential, the England international has been spent more time on the injury table than the pitch.

    The 28-year-old Brazilian has signed a long-term deal with the Gunners and will wear the No. 11 shirt.

    He made 25 first-team appearances for the Turkish giants last season, contributing towards their title success.

    Prior to his arrival at Fenerbache in 2009, the left back enjoyed an accomplished club career in South America, winning honours for Corinthians, Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro and Figueirense.

    In a club statement, Wenger said, "He has experience in the Champions League and for Brazil and has proven he can deliver at the highest level.

    "We welcome Santos to the club and look forward to him having a big impact for us."

Yann M’Vila

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    From: Rennes

    Fee: £12 million?

    Earlier in the transfer window, the Guardian reported that Arsene Wenger was plotting a £12 million bid for Rennes holding midfielder Yann M’Vila.

    Today, The Metro reports that Arsenal’s attempts to sign the talented youngster may have hit a brick wall. However, with several hours left in the transfer window, there is still time for a frantic last-minute bid.

    Despite only recently turning 21, the French holding midfielder has featured 11 times for the French national team, becoming a rock in the Rennes midfield in the process.

    M’Vila has featured in almost all of Rennes’ Ligue 1 games in the past three seasons.

    He is a tough, hard-hitting defensive midfielder. In a sense, he is a more matured version of Emmanuel Frimpong.

    He would slot in nicely playing alongside Alex Song in the Arsenal midfield, allowing Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere more creative freedom.

    At 6'0", he is not the tallest midfielder in world football, but he is considerably taller than Wilshere and Ramsey. The addition of height in the midfield will help Arsenal win more battles in the heart of midfield than they have done since, well, the departure of Patrick Viera.

    Although he is under contract until 2015, reports in the Guardian claim that the French club would be willing to accept an offer of £12 million for the talented youngster.

    If Wenger is unable to secure the services of the 21-year-old French international, he may have to rely upon the services of the inexperienced Francis Coquelin.