Arsenal Transfer Prospects: Top 10 EPL Players Wenger Can Target in January
Arsenal may have recorded their second win of the English Premier League season with an impressive 3-0 defeat of Bolton but many still are not convinced by the calibre and quality of Arsene Wenger's squad.
It has been a tumultuous Summer for the North London giants particularly as key play makers Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both departed. However over £60 million in funds were acquired and the Arsenal manager has the opportunity to implement high octane reinforcements come January.
The Gunners' do appear to be regaining their form and ability that evaded them in the opening month of the campaign however the defensive line is not completely secure whilst the midfield still lacks some incisive flair. Furthermore key players Alexandre Song, Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie are all involved in contract disputes and it is certain Wenger will not desire a repeat of the Samir Nasri saga. Therefore the Frenchman may utilize January to acquire credible replacements if the trio cannot agree to contract extensions.
Arsene Wenger rarely secures services from the Premier League, preferring to target talent from the French Ligue 1, German Bundesliga, the Spanish La Liga and an array of other European outlets. However as the need for success intensifies, the Frenchman may turn his attention to the Premier League options as players will have ready made experience and exposure to World Football's toughest league.
Therefore BleacherReport establishes the top ten English Premier League Players Arsene Wenger can target in January.
10. Abel Taarabt-Queens Park Rangers
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The superstar of newly promoted Queens Park Rangers possesses immense desires to grace the Arsenal team and was heavily linked with a move to the Gunners' during the Summer. Taarabt has emerged as one of the most devastating attackers in England since moving to QPR two seasons ago.
As Neil Warnock's men secured promotion to the English Premier League last season through winning the Npower Championship, the 22-year-old captained Rangers' and amassed 44 appearances and nineteen goals, achieving a place in the PFA Championship Team of the Year and the Football League Player of the Year.
A smart, quick and clinical play maker, the Moroccan is blessed with an array of skills and tricks alongside an incisive passing range. Furthermore Taarabt was not completely satisfied at Loftus Road and Wenger could secure the Moroccan in January for under £15 million.
9. James McCarthy-Wigan Athletic
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The 21-year-old Irishman has been touted with a move to North London since emerging onto the Premier League scene with Wigan. The Latic's dynamo 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.
8. Jack Rodwell-Everton
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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
7. Robert Huth-Stoke City
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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.
6. Marouane Fellaini-Everton
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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.
5. Junior Hoilett-Blackburn
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The exciting youngster is currently enduring contract disputes with Blackburn Rovers and with the 21-year-old possessing an uncertain future, Wenger may be able to swoop in and secure one of the brighest young forwards in the Premier League.
The 21-year-old, has developed rapidly in recent seasons and emerged as an energetic, lethal presence, particularly out wide. Last season the Canadian amassed 28 appearances and six goals before gaining vital Premier League exeprience.
Blackburn manager Steve Kean is eager to secure Hoilett long term but no agreement has been reached as of yet.
4. Christopher Samba-Blackburn
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The Blackburn captain possessed a huge desire to sign for the Gunners' and looked likely to at one stage during the Summer before 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.
3. Cheick Tiote-Newcastle United
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The Ivorian was outstanding in his first season in the Premier League, amassing 28 appearances for Newcastle United in 2010/2011. A tough, tenacious yet composed midfielder who would implement strength and balance to the Arsenal midfield.
A tireless worker and energetic tackler, the 25-year-old has performed strongly against Arsenal for both Newcastle and FC Twente and Wenger is a known admirer of the Ivory Coast international. Furthermore there are rumours Tiote desires UEFA Champions League football and Newcastle are willing to accept bids around £12-16 million. However Real Madrid are notable giants interested in Cheick Tiote.
2. Brede Hangeland-Fulham
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The experienced and calm Norwegian has emerged as a consistent, clean defender in the Premier League and as a huge presence in the Fulham squad.
The 30-year-old has amassed over 160 appearances in four seasons for the Cottagers, helping Fulham achieve European status and close to success. Hangeland is a hugely intimidating and quick performer, and Wenger is a huge admirer of the Norway international and tried tirelessly in the summer of 2009 to secure Hangeland.
The former FC Copenhagen defender would instill experience, leadership and quality for the Gunners and could be acquired for under £15 million.
1. Gary Cahill-Bolton
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Arsene Wenger has targeted Bolton's Gary Cahill for a number of years now but a deal has yet to materialize despite the Frenchman's huge interest.
One of the most regarded and consistent defenders in England, the 25-year-old has been phenomenal for Bolton and has accumulated over 140 appearances in the Premier League.
A regular for England and a strong, powerful, precise presence, Wenger is destined to attempt to secure Cahill in January. Barcelona, Inter Milan, Tottenham and Liverpool have all declared interest in the former Aston Villa centre half and the Trotters' manager, Owen Coyle, will demand upward of £15 million.