Arsenal Influencers Pick Their Ideal Premier League Swap Deal

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2017

Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero have been linked with a swap deal.
Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero have been linked with a swap deal.ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

With Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez reportedly a transfer target for Manchester City, rumours have started about a possible swap deal for the Sergio Aguero.

In conversation with Bwin (h/t Goal), former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn called the proposed swap a "minefield." In truth, swap deals are incredibly rare in the Premier League—although Gunners manager Arsene Wenger infamously did engage in one when he traded Ashley Cole for William Gallas.

For this piece, Bleacher Report asked a number of Arsenal influencers who they would like to swap within the Premier League. Fortunately, most of them took the question seriously—nobody requested to trade Carl Jenkinson for Eden Hazard.

Read on to discover which players these high-profile Arsenal fans picked to switch clubs.


Charles Watts: Arsenal Correspondent for Football.London

Twitter: @charles_watts

Ideal swap: Theo Walcott for Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez was picked by Arsenal writer Charles Watts.
Riyad Mahrez was picked by Arsenal writer Charles Watts.Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Arsenal writer Charles Watts chose to exchange Theo Walcott for Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez.

"It's a deal that could suit both parties," he said. "Both would be getting a player of a similar age who would contribute in the attacking thirdand both players are in need of a move to reinvigorate their careers.

"Mahrez would fit in perfectly at Arsenal and in Walcott, Leicester would be getting a goalscorer capable of filling the void left by the Algerian."

Wenger has done little to hide his admiration for Mahrez, including this interview with beIN Sports, and with Walcott struggling to find a place in Arsenal's new 3-4-2-1 system, this is a swap that could work for everyone involved.


Tim Clark: Host of the Arse2Mouse Podcast

Twitter: @arse2mouse

Ideal swap: Jack Wilshere for Cesc Fabregas

Tim Clark would swap Jack Wilshere for former Gunner Cesc Fabregas.
Tim Clark would swap Jack Wilshere for former Gunner Cesc Fabregas.Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Arsenal blogger Tim Clark has opted for a nostalgic pick. He wants to bring former club skipper Cesc Fabregas back to the Emirates Stadium.

"With the caveat of these things never happening, my swap would be Jack Wilshere for Cesc Fabregas," he said. "Cesc is the last Arsenal player I truly loved, and I think he could do the ageing creative maestro thing that Santi Cazorla may no longer be able to.

"Also, I suspect Arsenal fans would find Wilshere surprisingly easy to hate in blue. Come back, my Spanish prodigal son."

There doesn't appear to be any immediate future for Wilshere at Arsenal, and with Cazorla struggling with persistent injury problems Fabregas would be a welcome addition.


Clive Palmer: Arsenal Fan and Commentator

Twitter: @ClivePAFC

Ideal swap: Laurent Koscielny for Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk slides in to deny Lucas Perez.
Virgil van Dijk slides in to deny Lucas Perez.Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Arsenal fan Clive Palmer is building a growing reputation for his meticulous attention to details when it comes to analysis of his club. That much was evident when it came to answering this question, as he provided a number of potential responses.

Palmer mentioned the prospect of swapping Alexis for Eden Hazard, Kieran Gibbs for West Ham United's Aaron Cresswell, and even exchanging Walcott or Aaron Ramsey for Liverpool's Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana.

However, his most intriguing suggestion revolved around a defensive swap—Laurent Koscielny for Virgil van Dijk. He made a fascinating case for his choice.

"Stay with me. Van Dijk is a power centre-back—one from which you can build around for eight years," he said. "Koscielny is the best centre-back Arsenal have, but his time at the top is limited due to injury and age.

"It's a thought based on extrapolating forward, but at times you have to seize the moment when you want to add pillars to your team that can take you to the big trophies. Van Dijk would be perfect either in a back four or a back three."

It would be a huge call for Arsenal to dispense with their most reliable central defender, but Van Dijk would certainly offer greater longevity.


Dave Seager: Arsenal columnist and author

Twitter: @goonerdave66

Ideal swap: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Adam Lallana

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana are international team-mates with England.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana are international team-mates with England.PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

With just 12 months remaining on his current Arsenal contract, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may not be a Gunner for much longer.

Arsenal writer Dave Seager is looking to capitalise on that uncertainty by swapping him for Liverpool's Adam Lallana.

"Of course swapping players between clubs at the top end of the Premier League is a rarity but not unheard of," he said. "If 'Ox' is truly unhappy and Liverpool do want our Marmite England star, I would be suggesting that Oxlade-Chamberlain plus £20 million would be a fair exchange to facilitate Adam Lallana coming to N5.

"I wanted to see the ex-Saints star come to Arsenal when he left the south coast (Southampton) but most Gooners laughed at the suggestion—I'm not sure the proposal would be so unpopular now. Lallana and Mesut Ozil behind Alexandre Lacazette in the new 3-4-2-1 would be exciting."

Lallana's quick foot-work and neat passing would make him a natural fit for Wenger's team.


Elliot Smith, aka YankeeGunner: Host of the Arsenal Vision Podcast

Twitter: @YankeeGunner

Top Target: Alexis Sanchez for Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho in international action with Nigeria.
Kelechi Iheanacho in international action with Nigeria.Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Elliot Smith is never afraid to make a bold call, and he's certainly gone out on a limb to suggesting Arsenal directly swap Alexis for 20-year-old Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho:

"I'll get abuse for this, but I'd go for an Iheanacho/Alexis swap," he said. "The advanced-metrics guys love Iheanacho and I think he'd fit in perfectly at Arsenal.

"I would hate to lose Alexis, especially within the Premier League, but if it's happening (as most suspect it is) I'd rather solve our striker problem for the next decade than boost the balance sheet."

Iheanacho is a huge prospect, but Arsenal fans would surely react badly to replacing their marquee star with a relatively unproven talent.


Jim from East Lower: Arsenal Blogger

Twitter: @eastlower

Top Target: Gabriel Paulista for Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez proved a popular choice among our Arsenal influencers.
Riyad Mahrez proved a popular choice among our Arsenal influencers.Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

The man known principally as "The Man from East Lower" initially suggested swapping a clutch of Arsenal players for Manchester City playmaker David Silva.

He said: "Given City appear to have jettisoned most of their full-backs this summer, perhaps we could continue our fine tradition of offloading our own unwanted full-backs to them by nudging Mathieu Debuchy, Carl Jenkinson and Gibbs in their direction in return for one of their ageing players - let’s say David Silva? This is plausible, right?"

Having been told that the idea was really to swap one player for another, he relented and opted to use Brazilian centre-half Gabriel Paulista as a makeweight to land Riyad Mahrez.

"Leicester's centre-backs are the wrong end of 30, so how about sending Gabriel their way?" he added. "They could shave £10 million off their valuation of Mahrez and everyone's happy."

Everyone, presumably, except Gabriel Paulista? However, Jim has a point—Arsenal have plenty of centre-backs on their books, especially with Calum Chambers returning from his loan spell with Middlesbrough.

It might be sensible to offload a centre-half, especially if it meant landing a top attacking talent like Mahrez.


Tom Adams: Managing Editor of Eurosport, Arsenal writer for ESPNFC

Twitter: @tomEurosport

Top Target: Mesut Ozil for Dele Alli

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Imagine a scenario where Arsenal allowed their one-time record signing to join Tottenham Hotspur. Tom Adams, controversially, would welcome it—as long as it meant getting Dele Alli in return.

"I'd swap Mesut Ozil for Dele Alli," he said. "Ozil can sign a pre-contract with a foreign club in six months so his value is diminishing and seeing him at Spurs would be more than offset by getting their most talented player, who is younger and more decisive in terms of winning games."

Arsenal wounded Spurs badly when they snatched Sol Campbell in 2001. To take Alli off them might be even more humiliating.


James McNicholas is Bleacher Report's lead Arsenal correspondent and follows the club from a London base.


    Bayern to Break MLS Record for 17-Year-Old Canadian Alphonso Davies

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Bayern to Break MLS Record for 17-Year-Old Canadian Alphonso Davies

    Bavarian Football Works
    via Bavarian Football Works

    Barca Make 3rd Bid for Chelsea's Willian

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Barca Make 3rd Bid for Chelsea's Willian

    Sky Sports
    via Sky Sports

    Setback in Man Utd's Lozano Pursuit, Staying One More Year

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Setback in Man Utd's Lozano Pursuit, Staying One More Year

    Tom Sunderland
    via Bleacher Report

    Real Madrid Set to Make £112M Hazard Bid, Chelsea Want £200M

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Real Madrid Set to Make £112M Hazard Bid, Chelsea Want £200M

    Matt Jones
    via Bleacher Report