Arsenal spent more than £50 million in the transfer market this season, and with Arsene Wenger expected to have more funds available, strengthening his injury-hit squad should be a must as Arsenal look to build on their impressive recent form.
The Gunners faced their most disappointing start to a season this year, which led to Wenger’s foray into the transfer market on deadline day last August. Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Yossi Benayoun joined and have unquestionably contributed to Arsenal’s surge towards the Champions League positions.
Arsenal will be without Santos, Bacary Sagna, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Johan Djourou and Carl Jenkinson for the foreseeable future, and with Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh set to leave for the African Cup of Nations, the need to bring in players is evident.
If injury was to hit Robin van Persie, arguably the standout player in the world at present, Arsene Wenger could be in serious trouble.
AC Milan will provide a stern test to the Gunners in the Champions League, and with the FA Cup still in the picture, Arsenal should be keen not only to bring in replacements for those that are injured, but to add real quality to the squad.
Here are 10 players Arsenal should look to bring in at some point in the near future.
Despite competition for elite players being so high, it is not unrealistic to suggest that two or three of these names could soon be plying their trade at the Emirates.
Gary Cahill is one of the most highly rated defenders in the Premier League.
Cahill has represented England on seven occasions and looks set to play a key role for his country at Euro 2012.
The defender is a very versatile performer and would be a good addition to any squad in world football.
Bolton boss Owen Coyle is resigned to losing his star man, and with the defender’s contract expiring next summer, he may be keen to cash in now rather than risk losing him for nothing next year.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has had an impressive strike rate for every team he has played for.
The Dutchman has scored 23 goals in 40 games for his current club, Schalke, in the Bundesliga.
Huntelaar is much travelled and has competed in Holland, Italy and Spain prior to moving to Germany.
The only worry for Arsene Wenger could be the Dutchman’s difficulty in settling into a new club. He has never played more than three consecutive seasons for a team and barely played more than 40 games for AC Milan and Real Madrid combined.
Huntelaar possesses real talent in front of goal, having scored 30 goals in 48 games for the Netherlands. With the amount of chances the Gunners create in each game, Huntelaar could take pressure away from his countryman van Persie and form a lethal Premier League partnership.
Christopher Samba must feel like a big fish in a small pond.
He is vitally important to his team, and Blackburn are not the same without him.
Samba was openly disappointed with Blackburn’s decision to relieve Sam Allardyce from his post in 2009.
The Congolese defender handed in a written transfer request, but later settled his differences and signed an improved contract earlier this year.
Since Allardyce’s departure, Samba has remained an ever-present performer in a side that looks unlikely to beat the drop.
It is hard to remember a time when Blackburn played with confidence, and a move to Arsenal would be beneficial to both the Gunners and the player, allowing Samba the chance to see what he can do on the big stage.
Ibrahim Afellay possesses the talent to become one of Europe’s top stars, but he needs regular football.
At Barcelona, the Dutchman has struggled to feature and has played in fewer than 20 games since joining from PSV Eindhoven in January.
Afellay may have struggled to hold down a regular place even before the Catalan giants signed Chilean Alexis Sanchez last summer. Sanchez has been in blistering form, and if Afellay is to reach his true potential he may have to leave.
His pace and trickery could be a valuable addition to Arsenal. With Andrey Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky in inconsistent form, the Dutchman could settle into the team very quickly.
Alexandre Pato would be a terrific addition to the Arsenal front line.
The Brazilian scored 14 goals last season but was dropped towards the end of the campaign in favour of veteran striker Antonio Cassano.
His opportunities have been limited this season, as boss Massimiliano Allegri has favoured Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Pato has been talked about as the next Brazilian star for a number of years, and although he has shown promise, his inconsistent performances have hampered his progress and led to missing out on selection for the 2010 World Cup.
Pato is only 22, and a move to Arsenal would allow regular football and the chance to fulfil his true potential.
Lukas Podolski has been in brilliant form for Cologne this season, and having scored 14 goals in 15 Bundesliga games, the German has announced himself as being one of the best strikers in Europe.
His deal in Germany will expire in the summer of 2013, but with Podolski in the form of his life, the money being talked about may be too good for the German outfit to refuse.
The striker is currently sixth in the table of all-time goal scorers for his country and has developed a growing reputation, as he has been the key player in a mid-table Cologne side.
Joining the Gunners would be a a big step up and would allow Podolski the opportunity to play regular Champions League football.
Wayne Bridge has become one of football’s forgotten men.
Unlike his Manchester City teammate, Carlos Tevez, this is not his own choice.
Bridge has not featured for City in the Premier League this season and at times has been forced to train with the youth team.
Arsenal fans may not view this as a "superstar" signing, but Bridge has proven in the past that he is a competent footballer.
At Chelsea, he played second fiddle to Ashley Cole, arguably the best left-back in the world.
A move to Arsenal could be good for all parties. With Santos, Gibbs and Jenkinson injured, Arsene Wenger is bereft of left-backs.
A loan move may be more likely, with Bridge having the opportunity to reignite a career that has so far won him 36 England caps, a League Cup, FA Cup and Premier League winner’s medal.
Two years ago, Kaka was the subject of a high-priced bidding war between Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Since his decision to join Los Blancos, he has looked a shadow of his former self and had a miserable World Cup with Brazil last year.
Arsene Wenger was heavily linked with a move for Kaka last summer, but it later emerged that Madrid were looking to sell rather than loan out the playmaker.
The Brazilian won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2007, but that was in a Milan side where he was central to everything they achieved.
There is an abundance of midfield talent at the Bernabeu, and it appears inevitable that Kaka will move on.
A stumbling block could be his wage demands and the transfer fee. While unlikely to receive anywhere near the €70 million they paid for him, Madrid may be willing to cut their losses.
At only 29, the midfield maestro surely has more to offer.
Jeremy Toulalan’s decision to leave Lyon after winning five trophies with the French giants was an understandable one.
His move to Malaga, however, was somewhat surprising.
Malaga are a good mid-table Spanish outfit, and while they have money and boast an impressive squad, Toulalan’s consistency at the high level makes one wonder why he was not courted by one of Europe’s top clubs.
Toulalan, who has amassed 36 caps for France, is only 28 and has many years ahead of him.
The Frenchman is very much a key figure at both club and international level. He was the backbone of the Lyon side that won two consecutive league titles from 2006 to 2008, and the holding midfielder could be good competition for Alex Song.
Speculation surrounding Mario Gotze and Arsenal has become tedious, yet it cannot be ignored.
The German has been a revelation for Borussia Dortmund this year, and the German club will face a fight to hold onto their key man.
Dortmund would love to keep the 19-year-old, but it seems likely that a move will happen sooner rather than later.
Having already won the Bundesliga, Gotze would surely relish the chance to compete in the Champions League on a regular basis.
The signing would be a statement of intention with the German enjoying a glowing reputation.