Arsenal Transfers: 10 Players The Gunners Should Target in January

Lawrence McNeelaContributor IIISeptember 22, 2011

Arsenal Transfers: 10 Players The Gunners Should Target in January

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    Saturday's devastating defeat to bottom club Blackburn Rovers revealed once again how far Arsenal have slipped from their glory days of a decade ago.

    New talent is clearly needed, particularly as many of this summer's signings are nowhere near the calibre required to get the Gunners challenging for the English Premier League title again.

    Lawrence McNeela lists the 10 players he feels Arsenal should target for the January transfer window, some deliberately thought-provoking. Join in the debate by having your say below.

Yann M'Vila

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    Physically strong and defensively minded, Yann M'Vila is exactly what Arsenal's lightweight midfield requires to toughen it up.

    M'Vila would be perfect in a defensive midfield role at Arsenal, with his strength and tackling ability shielding the back four as the club's more creative players cause havoc around the opposition box.

Gary Cahill

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    Gary Cahill has made no secret of his desire to join Arsenal. Current club Bolton Wanderers were resigned to letting him go for a fair price during the summer. Arsenal were in desperate need for an experienced centre-half. Therefore, the question remains: Why did Arsene Wenger not sign him before the transfer window closed?

    As England international Cahill will be available on a free transfer at the end of the season, Arsene Wenger might choose to wait for him.

    However, signing the central defender in January might prove to be the difference in the race for a top four spot.

David Beckham

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    This is admittedly a little off-the-wall, but the former England captain remains a fine creative midfielder. Desperate to play in the London Olympics, David Beckham might be persuaded to join Arsenal in a short term pay-as-you-play deal.

    If so, Beckham would be great at coming off the bench for the last 20 minutes or so of a tight match, with his dead ball delivery and crosses giving Arsene Wenger's team an extra dimension against a side heavily packing its defence.

Thierry Henry

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    Another raid on Major League Soccer could bring Thierry Henry back to his spiritual home.

    Henry could be used as an impact sub, much in the flavour of David Beckham, during the latter part of the season. Whilst not the player he was, the former French international still has lots to offer in terms of pace and trickery.

    Furthermore, he could be employed as player-coach, able to pass on his vast experience and knowledge to the young Gunners coming through the London club's ranks.

Adam Johnson

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    Fast, skillful and with an eye for goal, England winger Adam Johnson would be the first name on many Premier League clubs' team-sheets. At Manchester City, he rarely gets a start.

    As things currently stand, Johnson's career is following the same path as Sean Wright Phillips. He is missing out on playing time at a club with a huge squad and that is going to affect his chances of going to next year's European Championship finals with England.

    Manchester City might well be persuaded to sell Johnson as he is surplus to manager Roberto Mancini's plans. If he arrived at Arsenal, he'd offer a more potent attacking threat than current wide men Theo Walcott or Andrei Arshavin.

Nathan Delfouneso

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    Nathan Delfouneso is another player worthy of a punt if the price is right. A fan of Thierry Henry, who we've already suggested should return to The Emirates, the Aston Villa winger-come-striker is the type of footballer Arsene Wenger adores. Quick, powerful and with an eye for goal, he could turn into another Arsenal star under the Frenchman's tutelage.

Fernando Llorente

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    Arsenal have lacked someone tall and strong in attack since Emmanuel Adabayor left for Manchester City. Partnered by the distinctly average Marouane Chamakh and Niklas Bendtner, Robin van Persie has been left shouldering his team's goal-scoring duties for too long.

    The addition of Spain international Fernando Llorente would solve both these problems. Furthermore, as one of the few Spanish internationals not currently playing for Barcelona or Real Madrid, he could be persuaded to swap La Liga for the English Premier League.

Edinson Cavani

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    Nicknamed "El Matador," Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani is a man in rich goal-scoring form. His was a modest time at Palermo, but since signing for Napoli the goals have come thick and fast.

    Technically gifted, tactically astute and with a jackhammer of a shot, Cavani would be a terrific addition to Arsene Wenger's team.

Daniel Pacheco

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    Daniel Pacheco's performances for Barcelona's famed academy earned him the nickname "The Assassin." His career has stalled at Liverpool, where he has never been given a chance to prove himself, but under Arsene Wenger's expert tutelage, Pacheco could be a star.

    He was top scorer at the 2010 UEFA Under 19s Football Championship, yet appears unwanted by the Anfield club. As such, he might be available in January for a knockdown fee.

Giorgio Chiellini

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    Tough Italian centre half Giorgio Chiellini has been at Juventus for six years, and it might be time for him to move on.

    An experienced Italian international with 45 caps, the tall 27-year-old would add steel to an Arsenal defence that leaks far too many goals.

    Twice named Serie A Defender of the Year, Chiellini can also play left-back if needed.

And One to Miss: Eden Hazard

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    Eden Hazard might well develop into a fantastic talent, but watching him strut his stuff in the inferior setting of Ligue 1 is no proof of that. A far better analysis might be provided from international football, where he has yet to score in 22 appearances.

    A "Youtube footballer," online videos of Eden Hazard have helped raise his profile in the UK, but the £25 million quoted to prise him from Lille is too risky a gamble. That sort of sum should be reserved for those who have already proved themselves.

    Finally, his falling out with Belgium manager Georges Leekens suggests Hazard is a big time Charlie. And let's be honest here, Arsenal have had more than enough of that type already.