Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Must Raise Funds for Morgan Schneiderlin Splurge

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 19, 2014

SWANSEA, WALES - SEPTEMBER 20: Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Southampton at Liberty Stadium on September 20, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Arsenal will revert to summer transfer target Morgan Schneiderlin this winter as they look to finally provide a solution to their midfield woes with the Southampton man continuing to impress.

Ben Jefferson of the Express reports that it would require a fee of £25 million in order to tempt the Saints into selling, but it's a worthwhile fee for the Gunners to get their top-four hopes back on track:

Arsene Wenger has traditionally been reluctant to spend in January, but has been told he has money available should the right player be available. And reports suggest that Schneiderlin is one player the French boss will think carefully about trying to sign.

From an Arsenal perspective, Schneiderlin has responded positively to rumours of his potential departure from St. Mary's, but he was one star Southampton boss Ronald Koeman managed to keep at the south-coast club.

The likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers and Dejan Lovren each departed for pastures new in big-money deals, and Goal.com quotes Schneiderlin in explaining the extent to which he sought to leave:

It's ironic that Southampton should go on to enjoy such a successful start to the season and now find themselves in third place after eight games, while Arsenal wallow in seventh, five points behind.

However, central midfield is one area in which a certain persona—one that Schneiderlin fits—is missing. Readers of The Sun recently voted the Frenchman as the third-best anchoring midfielder in the Premier League, ahead of Gunners captain Mikel Arteta:

The £25 million fee linked with Schneiderlin's name seems astronomical in a way; the player has no Champions League experience and has only figured briefly in France's national team ranks, after all.

However, considering £35 million was spent on wing wizard Alexis Sanchez over the summer, a player whose acquisition wasn't nearly as crucial as the need for an elite defensive midfield presence, it seems the north Londoners can afford to dig deep.

Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press

Schneiderlin is yet to miss a minute of the Saints' season, and in the face of their big exits in the summer window, he has risen to become a more essential figure than ever under Koeman.

Squawka shows that in eight games, the midfielder has scored three goals and created five chances, not to mention attempted 66 tackles and maintained a pass accuracy of 89 percent.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

It's also a firmly held belief that another central defender is needed at the Emirates Stadium, with injuries exploiting the lack of depth in Wenger's squad and forcing the likes of Chambers and Nacho Monreal to feature at centre-back.

It's negligence on the manager's part, but Wenger will go about solving those issues in January it seems. Per The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson and Cameron Macphail, he said the following at the annual AGM:

We finished strong, it's made us stronger. We have strengthened, brought in two defenders. We have done remarkably well in transfer window. We tried to buy one more, a defender, but we didn't find one. But we will try to rectify that in January.

Unfortunately, the damage looks like it might already have dented Arsenal's title hopes beyond repair. As long as Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Arteta struggle to find any consistent cohesion among a raft of injuries, the core of the team looks less and less certain.

For so long, Arsenal fans have grown frustrated with their club's reluctance to spend in big sums on known talents, but now that they are, the funds must be directed toward an area of the squad that's in most desperate need of reinforcements.

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