Arsenal's dismal start to the 2011-2012 season— which includes the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri and three Premier League defeats, including an 8-2 humiliation by reigning Premier League champions Manchester United and a 4-3 loss to Blackburn—has left the Gunners' faithful viewing the January transfer window as the only save haven.
After the traumatic conclusion to 2010-2011, fans have become further disgruntled by Arsene Wenger's inability to secure quality presences, particularly with the departures of high-calibre playmakers Fabregas and Nasri, whose contracts totaled to £60 million.
Furthermore, the Gunners' defensive line still possesses the lingering frailties of last season, highlighting the Frenchman's stubbornness to change his high-line defensive ways.
However, the Arsenal manager does boast sufficient funds despite his flourish of last-minute summer signings which barely exceeded £20 million alongside the £8 million acquisition of Gervinho and the £15 million signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The North London giants are in need of certain reinforcements, particularly as the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City, who all utilized their funds strongly during the recent summer, continue to strengthen.
Wenger is not renowned for January purchases, but if problems persist and the Gunners' continue for mid-table mediocrity, the Frenchman will be eager to implement changes come the English winter.
BleacherReport establishes the 20 players Arsene Wenger could target.
The Blackburn captain, who produced a strong performance as the Rovers trounced the Gunners at Ewood Park, possessed huge desires to join the Emirates this summer, but Wenger opted to look elsewhere, eventually securing Per Mertesacker.
A hugely imposing and powerful presence at 6'4", many believed the 27-year-old was the answer to Arsenal's lingering defensive woes. A natural leader and composed presence, Samba is quick and efficient in the centre.
However, Wenger disliked Steve Kean's evaluation of up to £17 million for the DR Congo international. But Wenger may be able to forge a cheaper deal come January, which may be greatly needed should defensive woes persist.
The hugely talented youngster, who has been targetted by Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal, was set to depart the French Ligue 1 during the summer, but a deal failed to materialize.
A strong, tenacious and powerful midfielder, who is also a gifted playmaker, M'Vila is destined to exceed great heights during his football career.
After emerging onto Rennes' first team scene during 2009-2010, M'Vila amassed 39 appearances in his debut season and a further 41 appearances last season, during which the 21-year-old was one of the French league's best players.
Wenger is a huge fan of the midfielder and was eager to secure M'Vila during the summer. However, Rennes declared they desire upward £15 million for the French international.
The 21-year-old Irishman has been touted with a move to North London since emerging onto the Premier League scene with Wigan. He is a smart, skillful and balanced playmaker whose maturity and composure in the Latics' midfield has impressed many.
McCarthy has acquired sufficient Premier League experiences in his two seasons at DW Stadium, despite slight injury concerns. Many expect the Ireland international to excel and develop rapidly in 2011-2012. With the likes of Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey failing to perform, a McCarthy acquisition could instill better depth and competition for places.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez desires around £12 million for his young star.
The Arsenal right-back depth is questionable. Despite boasting the renowned presence of Bacary Sagna, deputy Carl Jenkinson appears out of his depth and overwhelmed by quick first-team exposure, having arrived from League One football with Charlton Athletic.
This ensures Gregory van der Wiel would become an emphatic signing for the Gunners. The Dutchman is regarded as one of the best young full-backs in Europe and has been chased by the likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
With Sagna aging and Wenger possessing desires to eventually transition Jenkinson into a centre-half, the 23-year-old van der Wiel could install depth, quality and competition to the right-back role. A hugely quick and tenacious defender, the Netherland's international is also a devastating attacker.
However, Ajax would desire £15 million for their strong defender.
One of the brightest young English talents, Jack Rodwell has been touted with an exit from Goodison Park for some time now, as Manchester United and the other Premier League giants aim to secure the 21-year-old.
The Englishman made his debut for Everton as a 16-year-old in 2007 and has developed impressively since. Rodwell has become an Everton regular in recent seasons and has accumulated close to 100 appearances for the Toffees.
A strong, physical and intelligent midfielder who many believe will make a successful transition to defence, Rodwell would be a valuable signing for the Gunners, and one that would improve both defence and attack.
However, David Moyes would desire upward of £16 million for the England U-21 star.
The England international has long been linked with a move to the Emirates, and it was believed a deal was set to materialize during the summer, but Wenger refused to match Bolton's upward for £14 fee.
The 25-year-old is regarded as one of the best defenders in the English Premier League, and even European kings Barcelona have shown an interest in Cahill.
A strong, calm and quick centre-half, the former Aston Villa man would help the Arsenal defensive line gain much-needed physical presence and positioning.
Furthermore, Cahill possesses over 130 Premier League appearances, therefore rendering him a veteran in world football's toughest league.
The 2011 Johan Cruyff Award winner for Dutch Football Talent of the Year, Christian Eriksen is rightly considered one of the best teenagers in world football.
The 19-year-old has been a devastating attacker for both Ajax and Denmark since 2009. Last season Eriksen recorded 46 appearances and eight goals for Dutch giants Ajax and produced a scintillating display when Denmark encountered England in an international friendly.
With Arsenal in need of a quality playmaker, Eriksen would be a huge signing for Wenger, and one that could thrive with the Gunners. The Danish star is fast, skillful, creative and smart and exhibits the maturity greatly lacking at the Emirates.
However, Ajax are eager to maintain their teenage sensation, and Wenger would need more than £16 million to secure Eriksen.
As previously mentioned, the right-back depth of Wenger is precarious, and the signing of Gonzalo Jara would loom as a cheap and effective signing that would implement depth and experience to the Arsenal back line.
Many believe Jenkinson requires a loan spell before sufficiently enjoying first-team exposure, whilst Sagna has battled injury concerns this season.
Jara is a quiet achiever for Roy Hodgson's West Bromwich Albion and possesses experience and quality to aid the Gunners.
The German is an efficient, experienced and respected defender who has thrived with Stoke City and emerged as one of the strongest and most productive centre-halves in the English Premier League.
Since joining the Potters in 2009, Huth has amassed 90 appearances and shown impressive strength, aerial ability and composure.
The 27-year-old is a former Chelsea youth graduate and German international whose experience and tenacity would seriously help the Arsenal defensive line.
However, Tony Pulis would desire upward of £12 million for the giant German.
The 23-year-old was touted as one of the best replacements for former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas and was heavily linked with the Gunners during the summer.
Martin has emerged as an efficient, classy playmaker in the French Ligue 1 with Sochaux, amassing over 115 appearances.
Last season Martin recorded 41 appearances, four goals and an amazing 17 assists. The Frenchman is becoming a regular in the national team, and Wenger is a keen admirer of the flair and strength of the midfielder.
The youngster has just signed a new contract with Les Lionceaux, but come January anything could happen.
The Chelsea enforcer was linked with a move to the Gunners during the summer, alongside a host of other defenders, and the Brazilian would have been a powerful transfer by Wenger.
Alex is an experienced, composed and no-nonsense defender who has earned huge respect across Europe.
The 29-year-old is subject to an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge, and if Arsenal's defensive woes continue, Wenger could indeed make a bid in order to implement direction and physical security alongside experience into the Arsenal defensive line.
Furthermore, the Arsenal manager could be able to secure Alex for under £10 million.
An audacious option, but considering the funds Wenger possesses—and if circumstances worsen—the Arsenal manager may finally launch an effort to secure big-name, high-octane signings.
Who better than the 2010 FIFA World Cup Best Young Player and Golden Boot Winner?
Thomas Müller is considered one of the best attackers in world football with his blistering pace, balance and a vicious strike.
Last season the German recorded 48 appearances and 19 goals for Bayern Munich, and many predict the 22-year-old may venture into English or Spanish footbal. Wenger could alternate and produce a £30 million bid.
Esteban Granero has become heavily linked with a move to the Gunners in recent weeks.
The 24-year-old is a product of the renowned Real Madrid academy, where the Spaniard thrived for the Real Madrid C and B sides. However, it was on loan with Getafe where the playmaker thrived, amassing 81 appearances and 14 goals over two seasons.
Since returning to the Bernabeu, Granero has failed to enforce his presence in the star-studded Madrid midfield with the likes of Kaka, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Angel di Maria all restricting the former Spain U-21 star.
However, Granero has still managed to contribute strongly to Jose Mourinho's efforts with 36 appearances and three goals during 2009-2010 and 32 appearances and two goals last season, as he helped Madrid secure the Copa del Rey.
Wenger is a big admirer of the playmaker, and at £15 million he believes Granero could eventually emulate Fabregas.
One of the most underrated and efficient defenders of the past decade, Paulo Ferreira has been a consistent presence for Chelsea and played a pivotal role in the Blues' recent success in the Premier League.
The Portuguese defender has amassed over 195 appearances for Chelsea and is highly regarded in English football.
As mentioned, Arsenal are in need of right-back reinforcements, and the experienced and versatile Ferreira would help instill a winning mentality, composure and depth to the Gunners' defensive line.
Furthermore, the 32-year-old would be a cheap and effective option.
The Argentine is a tenacious and powerful playmaker who has thrived in the Spanish La Liga. The 23-year-old has been an impressive, consistent performer for Valencia, with displays of strength and intelligence as a midfield anchor.
Furthermore, Banega is an experienced and composed presence who possesses the desire to grace Premier League football.
Banega was linked with a move to the Gunners during the summer, but a deal failed to materialize. The Argentina international would loom as a superb January signing to put pressure on the midfield and provide adequate cover for Alexandre Song and Emmanuel Frimpong, who will depart for the African Cup of Nations.
Valencia were rumoured to accept around £13 million for the young midfielder.
The Argentine sensation endured the whole summer with his future in the air. Tevez looked certain to depart Manchester City due to family and personal issues, with Inter Milan and Brazilian clubs rumoured to be able to acquire the 27-year-old.
For now the striker is content in the Eastlands, but it is unclear if Tevez's future has been completely resolved. Although it would be a shocking and audacious, and of course unlikely, event for Wenger to bid for the disgruntled striker, one should not rule it out.
Tevez is easily regarded as one of world football's most devastating strikers. Quick, strong, clinical and smart, the former Manchester United ace hit 29 goals in 42 appearances during 2009-2010 and 23 in 39 last season, rendering him the EPL Golden Boot.
Tevez's wages and fee would be outstanding, but if it begins to get desperate at the Emirates, who knows what will happen.
Wenger requires a defiant midfield presence to mitigate the immense departure of Fabregas, and there are few better than his countryman Javi Martinez. The Spaniard is highly regarded in the La Liga and has emerged as the stalwart of Athletic Bilbao.
An imposing, elegant playmaker who possesses great skill and midfield dominance, the 23-year-old captained Spain U-21 to 2011 European Championship glory during the summer, producing superb displays and making the Team of the Tournament.
A natural leader and experienced presence, many believe Martinez will soon depart Bilbao, and Wenger may be able to make a swoop in January for up to £16 million.
The French defender has been touted and linked with moves to the Emirates since emerging as one of the best young defenders in Europe.
At 21, Sakho has amassed over 130 appearances for French giants PSG and has shown great leadership, strength and speed as a defender.
An imposing, versatile prospect, Sakho is highly regarded in Paris with the captain's armband firmly around his bicep. However, Wenger would be able to tempt the France international, and with Sakho's ability to play at right-back, in the centre defence and even as a defensive midfielder, a deal between £8-13 million could arise come January.
Everton's hugely imposing, unmissable defensive midfielder would become a superb acquisition for Wenger. The 23-year-old has become a midfield force for Everton since arriving at Goodison Park in 2008, amassing close to 100 appearances for David Moyes' side.
With the Gunners in need of a dominating playmaker who can provide both a defensive and offensive outlet, Fellaini would be a strong signing for Arsenal.
Everton will be eager to keep their 6'4" giant, who can also play in the defensive line.
However, rumours have emerged that Fellaini desires a move away from the Merseyside, and Wenger may be able to utilize a £16 million deal to secure the Belgian giant.
Similar to Arsenal's situation with Samir Nasri, Italian giants Fiorentina are attempting to resign Riccardo Montolivo as he enters the last year on his contract and risk losing the Italian playmaker as a free agent at the close of the season.
This ensures Wenger can swoop in and acquire Montolivo cheaply in January as Fiorentina aim to secure some funding for their 26-year-old star.
Many believe Wenger has to target Riccardo Montolivo, a superb midfielder with pace, vision, balance and an incisive passing range,