Why Arsenal Must Make Transfer Moves for Paul Pogba and Fernando Llorente

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2013

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 22:  Paul Pogba of Juventus looks on prior to the Serie A match between Juventus and Hellas Verona FC at Juventus Arena on September 22, 2013 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Despite the extravagant signing of Mesut Ozil, Arsene Wenger’s scouts will already be scouring the globe searching for further reinforcements. Wenger would be wise to send some of his team out to Turin to cast a look over the Juventus pair of Fernando Llorente and Paul Pogba.

Arsenal’s priority in the January transfer window is clear: The Gunners urgently need a centre-forward if they are to continue their challenge for the Premier League title. 

Having failed in a deadline-day move for Chelsea’s Demba Ba, Arsene Wenger has found himself in the unenviable position of having to rely upon Nicklas Bendtner. With Bendtner’s Arsenal contract due to expire in a matter of months, that can only ever be a short-term solution. Arsenal need someone else. 

VERONA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 25:  Bostjan Cesar (R) of AC Chievo Verona competes with Fernando Llorente of Juventus during the Serie A match between AC Chievo Verona and Juventus at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on September 25, 2013 in Verona, Italy.  (Phot
Dino Panato/Getty Images

Llorente would be a wise choice. He signed his pre-contract agreement with Juventus long ago and was expected to become their first-choice striker. However, since then Antonio Conte’s side have added Carlos Tevez to the squad, knocking Llorente down the pecking order. Thus far, the Spaniard has started just two games in Serie A. 

With a World Cup on the horizon, and increasing competition for a spot in the Spanish squad from the newly nationalised Diego Costa, Llorente is understandably eager to play more first-team football. 

According to The Mirror, Arsenal could launch a loan bid for Llorente. It would make perfect sense: The Spaniard is a definite upgrade on Bendtner and would provide excellent cover for Olivier Giroud. Both Llorente and Giroud are intelligent target men with great technical ability. By January, Arsenal could be competing on four fronts, so Llorente would certainly be afforded plenty of playing time.

Few strikers of Llorente’s calibre will be available in the middle of a season. If Arsenal have the chance to secure his services, they’d be mad not to take it.

The same is true of Llorente’s Juve teammate Paul Pogba. 

Arsenal don’t desperately need Pogba—they are well covered in central midfield. The unexpectedly excellent form of Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini has added depth to an area of the field where they already had the likes of Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky.

However, Arsenal didn’t desperately need Mesut Ozil. There are some players that are always worth purchasing. If an elite talent becomes available, you must jump at the chance to sign them. Ozil’s impact demonstrates the huge lift a well-timed stellar acquisition can bring.

Make no mistake: Pogba is an elite talent. With the news that Juventus could struggle to keep hold of the French starlet, it’s no surprise that The Express have suggested Arsenal could be preparing to swoop. 

Pogba is the definition of a box-to-box midfielder. He has the physicality to win the ball, the intelligence to keep it and the skill and shooting prowess to make a difference in the final third. 

With doubts over the long-term future of the injury-hit Abou Diaby, Pogba could bring some power and athleticism to the Arsenal midfield. Neither Mikel Arteta nor Mathieu Flamini are getting any younger.

With Pogba and Llorente on board, Arsenal could transform from prospective challengers to title favourites.


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