Arsenal Transfers: 10 Midfielders Linked to the Gunners

Vijay MuraliAnalyst IDecember 23, 2011

Arsenal Transfers: 10 Midfielders Linked to the Gunners

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    Arsenal suffered a terrible start to the season, picking up a meager seven points from their first seven games, but it has been a remarkable turnaround since that game.

    It has been an excellent team effort from the Gunners and though Robin van Persie has been very important in this period, he has received great support from the likes of Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta. Also, much of Arsenal’s revival would not have been possible if Arsene Wenger had not made crucial signings just before the closing of the transfer window.

    He signed Per Mertesacker, Arteta , Park Ju Young, Yossi Benayoun and Andre Santos in the final two days of the window and barring Park who has not had opportunities, the rest have all had a role to play in their good form this season.

    Arteta, in particular, has been very impressive as he has steadied the midfield and though his style of play is different from former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, he has been very effective to the team.

    With Arsenal missing Jack Wilshere for quite a long time, much credit has to be given to Aaron Ramsey and Arteta for providing stability and creativity to the team. However, they have already played a lot of games and could be fatigued before the end of the season especially if Wilshere does suffer a setback.

    This is one of the key reasons why Wenger could look for a midfielder, though Gervinho’s absence for around a month due to the African Nations Cup could also mean that the French tactician is looking for a winger.

    Here are 10 midfielders who have been linked with a move to the Gunners, though it is highly likely that a maximum of only one or two midfielders could arrive at the club.

1. Yoann Gourcuff, Lyon

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    Yoann Gourcuff is one of the most talented players in the French league and the central midfielder has also represented his country on several occasions.

    However, since he moved to Lyon from Bordeaux, there has been an alarming dip in his form. He will need to perform at a much higher level if he is to be selected for the Euro Championships with players like Samir Nasri ahead of him in the pecking order.

    A move to the Emirates on a loan or a permanent deal could be ideal for the French midfielder as he would be in a different environment and will have a chance of establishing himself in the first team.

    Also, with the Gunners losing Cesc Fabregas in the summer, Gourcuff could be a good addition considering that he still has the quality to influence and dominate games in midfield and could be a boost to the team for the second half of the season.

2. Mario Goetze, Borussia Dortmund

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    Mario Goetze is one of the best young players in the world. Despite his young age, he is an integral part of the Borussia Dortmund side, who also won the Bundesliga title in the previous season.

    The Germany international is undoubtedly attracting the attention of several clubs in the world and it will be a huge coup for the Gunners if they do sign him. Arsenal have two talented young midfielders in Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, but the addition of Goetze will certainly provide them with even more quality to the team.

    It could be a great signing for the Gunners, who are in a tough battle to qualify for the Champions League again next season. The German midfielder will not come at a bargain, but with Arsenal being a financially stable club, they could splash the cash on him if they want to. It would make sense too, considering that he is still at a very early stage in his career.

3. Yann M'Villa, Rennes

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    Yann M’Vila is one of the most highly-rated French midfielders and is a player renowned for bringing stability to the midfield. Though primarily a holding midfielder, he does have good distribution skills and also has the ability to make a difference to the team. He has great positioning and cuts out attacks by making many important interceptions and tackles.

    He is also one of the most important players for Laurent Blanc’s France, which is why it might be difficult to convince him to move to the Emirates in January. Also, with Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong showing a lot of promise, the question is whether Arsene Wenger will spend a large chunk of the transfer funds on a defensive midfielder.

4. Esteban Granero, Real Madrid

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    Real Madrid have an array of exciting talents in their side and as a result, there are some players who fail to get enough playing time.

    Esteban Granero is a talented player who has struggled to get much playing time at Madrid and with Nuri Sahin returning from injury and Jose Callejon striking a rich vein of form, Granero could look for a move elsewhere in order to play regularly. Though he is not the most exciting midfielder, he is very resourceful and will add quality and creativity to the team.

    Also, he will most probably be available in the January transfer window and will add quality depth to the team, especially if Jack Wilshere does suffer a setback in his recovery from a long-term ankle problem.

    Granero will be a good signing for the Gunners, but it is questionable if Arsene Wenger needs to move for a squad player with Yossi Benayoun and Tomas Rosicky showing great commitment at the Emirates.

5. Lucas Biglia, Anderlecht

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    Alex Song has developed into one of the best defensive midfielders in the world and he is one of the most important players for the Gunners. However, he is a player who should be rested at times in order to avoid injuries and fatigue and Arsenal could look at Anderlecht’s Lucas Biglia in the January transfer window to provide quality depth.

    Biglia looks to be a good talented midfielder who can not only bring solidity to the midfield, but also help them offensively with his neat passing.

    Biglia is one of the highly-rated players at his club and he has attracted the interest of a number of clubs, according to his agent. Arsenal could look to someone like Biglia to provide quality depth and also bring more stability to the midfield, especially when they have the lead in a game.

6. Marco Reus, Borussia Moenchengladbach

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    There are a number of brilliant young German players playing in the Bundesliga currently and one of them is Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder Marco Reus, who has been in excellent goalscoring form this season.

    He has been brilliant so far and has unsurprisingly been linked with moves to big clubs such as Arsenal and Bayern Munich. He primarily plays as a winger and could easily slot into Gervinho’s role when the Ivory Coast international leaves on international duty for the African Nations Cup.

    Reus would be a fantastic addition to the Gunners, but it will be difficult for the Gunners to persuade the Bundesliga club to sell, especially as they are in good form as they look to attain a Champions League place at the minimum.

    Arsenal are bound to face competition from some of the top clubs, but the decision lies with Reus on whether he will choose to move abroad to the Emirates stadium in North London.

7. Casemiro, Sao Paulo

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    Arsenal have one of the best scouting networks in the world and the scouts do track plenty of players around the world in different continents. The Gunners have recruited several players from different continents, as the recent signings of Joel Campbell and Ryo Miyaichi would indicate and they could be interested in another South American starlet, Casemiro, who currently plays for Sao Paulo.

    With Denilson also being loaned out to the same club, Arsenal do have decent relations with the club and could look to sign the highly-rated midfielder, who has also been called up to the national team. Though he is a defensive midfielder with a lot of tenacity, he does have the technique and quality to be a threat offensively as well and his versatility will provide depth to the team.

    Though he will not come at a bargain, it might be a worthy gamble for Wenger if he can sign a player of immense potential at such a young age.

8. Andre Ayew, Olympique Marseille

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    Andre Ayew is one of the most important players for his club side Olympique Marseille and as he showed in the two games recently against the Gunners in the Champions League, he is capable of performing at the highest level.

    Blessed with pace and plenty of tricks, he would certainly add a lot of quality to the current Arsenal squad. He is also versatile and still only 22 years old, so he will certainly develop further under the watchful guidance of Arsene Wenger.

    With many French players in the Arsenal squad, it would also not be too difficult for him to adjust to the conditions at the Emirates, though it does take time for a new signing to settle into a new side.

    However, the drawback of signing him in January is that he could also leave for the African Nations Cup along with Gervinho, which would deplete the midfield depth to some extent.

9. Milos Krasic, Juventus

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    Milos Krasic is a very talented player and was signed for big money transfer fees by Juventus in 2010. However, the winger—who was hugely successful for CSKA Moscow—could be on the move sooner than expected as he has struggled to get much playing time this season under manager Antonio Conte.

    Juventus have done superbly this season and are currently joint top at the table along with AC Milan and do have a good chance of winning the title. However, Krasic has been frustrated because of lack of playing time and he could move to England where there are some clubs interested.

    Juventus are apparently interested in a swap deal involving Theo Walcott going the other way, but Arsenal are most likely to retain Walcott as he has been one of their best players of the season.

    However, Krasic would be a good addition for the Gunners because Gervinho will leave for the African Nations Cup and the Serbian international will provide quality depth to the side. 

10. Ricardo Kaka, Real Madrid

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    Ricardo Kaka’s transfer to Real Madrid from AC Milan was one of the most expensive transfer moves and unfortunately, it cannot be considered to be a success as the Brazilian international has repeatedly suffered plenty of injuries during his stay in Madrid.

    Kaka remains an exceptional player and has the quality to be highly influential, but with Mesut Ozil also performing very well, he has been restricted to appearances from the bench on a lot of occasions in the last couple of seasons.

    According to Talksport, the 29-year-old midfielder is considering his future at Madrid and it could open the doors for Arsenal and Chelsea, who are apparently interested in signing him.

    According to the report, the Gunners failed in an audacious loan move for Kaka in the summer, but could try for him again in January to help them finish in the top four in the Premiership while also helping end their trophy drought.