Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Top 8 Realistic Attacking Midfielders

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMay 30, 2012

Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Top 8 Realistic Attacking Midfielders

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    Arsenal need to sign an attacking midfielder to challenge Tomás Rosický's position in the starting XI.

    Lukas Podolski could play as a deep-lying forward; however, Arsène Wenger has a habit of playing central players as wide players, and vice versa. If this trend continues, Podolski will play as a wide attacking midfielder.

    How about Mathieu Valbuena? He said he won’t leave Marseille.

    Will Arsenal sign Mario Götze this summer? No, he will stay with Borussia Dortmund, the best young team in the world.

    Here are the top eight realistic attacking midfielders that Arsenal could sign. 

8. Filip Djuricic, Heerenveen, Age: 20

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    Signing Christian Eriksen would be a pipe dream, so go for Filip Djuricic, who has proven to be a classy playmaker this season. 

    Bas Dost's prolific goal-scoring and Luciano Narsingh's blazing speed mean Djuricic is an afterthought. 

    This is a perfect situation for Arsenal because Djuricic isn't overhyped and will come at a fair transfer fee.  

    Eight years ago, Arsenal supporters were begging Arsène Wenger to sign Djibril Cissé, who was the next big thing at the time. 

    Wenger didn't believe Cissé was worth £14 million and went with the cheaper option of Robin van Persie for £2.5 million. 

    Djuricic will be a fraction of whatever Eriksen costs. 

    League Only Goals Assists
    Eriksen  7 15
    Djuricic  10 10

7. Marvin Martin, Sochaux, Age: 24

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    With Vincent Nogueira and Joseph Lopy protecting the back four, Marvin Martin was given the green light as the attacking midfielder. 

    Sochaux were pitiful throughout the season and fortunate not to suffer relegation. 

    Martin played decently but his teammates weren't chipping in. 

    Ryad Boudebouz went missing for extended periods in the season. Modibo Maiga wasn't assertive enough. The defence routinely left Teddy Richert exposed. 

    The 4-2-3-1 was used in 65 percent of Sochaux's league games and Arsenal is predominantly a French-speaking squad, so Martin should make a smooth transition into life as a Gunner. 

6. James Morrison, West Bromwich Albion, Age: 26

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    Outside of West Bromwich Albion, the name James Morrison evokes thoughts about the singer. 

    James Morrison, the footballer, is a genius and unfairly devalued because he plays for a small club. 

    When Arsenal escaped with a 3-2 win, their fans thought, "Wow, who is this Morrison guy?" He ran the show with two assists and taught Aaron Ramsey a thing or two about incisive passing. 

    If Peter Odemwingie was as efficient as Papiss Cissé, Morrison would have at least 10 assists.

    League Only Morrison 
    Goals 5 2
    Assists 5 4
    Created Shots 60 55

5. Julien Féret, Rennes, Age: 29

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    Julien Féret is capable of playing extraordinary football; for example, he scored four goals and provided four assists in a six-game stretch. 

    With his 6'2" frame, he can shrug off opposing players whilst making pin-point passes. Yoann Gourcuff or Féret? Féret every day of the week. 

4. Junior Hoilett, Blackburn Rovers, Age: 21

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    Junior Hoilett is an elusive dribbler, who is just as good behind the forward as he is out wide. He'll come for free, he's only 21, so why not sign him? 

3. Stéphane Sessègnon, Sunderland, Age: 27

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    Stéphane Sessègnon was easily Sunderland's best player this season. He frequently pierced through opposing defences with his dribbling. His vision and ability to thread accurate through-balls is the reason why he accumulated nine assists. 

    In a 3-3 draw against Manchester City, Nigel de Jong was dragged all over the place by Sessègnon.

2. Younès Belhanda, Montpellier, Age: 22

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    Blessed with silky skills, Younès Belhanda could be the next Ligue 1 Player of the Year, especially with the departure of Eden Hazard. 

    It's odd that Arsène Wenger didn't move in to sign Hazard before the hype because he would have been aware of the Belgian. If he did, it would have been Nicolas Anelka 2.0. 

    In 1997, Wenger signed a 17-year-old Anelka from Paris Saint-Germain for £0.5 million. Two years later, Wenger sold him to Real Madrid for £22.3 million. 

    In a parallel universe, Wenger could have signed Hazard from Lille for £5 million and sold him to Chelsea this summer for upwards of £30 million.

    It would be wise for Wenger to invest in Belhanda now before his transfer value skyrockets. 

    Belhanda is in his third professional season whilst Hazard is in his fifth. So it's only fair to compare Belhanda to Hazard's 2009-10 season. 

    League Only Goals Assists
    Belhanda 12 5
    Hazard (09-10) 5 8

1. Roberto Firmino, Hoffenheim, Age: 20

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    Roberto Firmino at Hoffenheim is like Ronaldinho at Paris Saint-Germain. 

    In two league games against Felix Magath's men, Firmino scored three goals and provided an assist. 

    Weirdly outside of Germany, not many people are familiar with Firmino. 

    He's still raw but it's so obvious that if he gets it altogether, he'll be a world-class footballer. 

    He can dance his way past opposing players, yet crunch centre-backs who attempt to dribble out of defence. 

    League Only Dribbles Per Game
    Firmino  2.9
    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    Abou Diaby 1.5
    Gervinho 1.4
    Tomás Rosický 1.2
    League Only Tackles Per Game
    André Santos 3.3
    Firmino  3
    Alex Song 2.9
    Laurent Koscielny 2.6
    Mikel Arteta 2.5

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    Please read Why Hazard Will Be a Star in the Premier League.

    Statistics courtesy of