Arsenal Transfer Prospects: 7 Unlikely Players Arsene Wenger May Sign in January
Arsenal will buy somebody in January. This statement appears to becoming more and more realistic and inevitable every day. Arsene Wenger possesses a £50 million transfer budget at his disposal for the long winter, and with his striking stocks fragile and calls for midfield and even defensive reinforcements, the Frenchman is destined to make a rare January purchase, or purchases.
This has ensured a large array of rumours to flourish, linking some of the best players in Europe to the Emirates. German teenage sensation Mario Goetze has attracted much attention; OSC Lille dynamo Eden Hazard is on the cards; whilst Alexandre Pato, Lukas Podolski and Sebastien Granero have all enjoyed speculation, too.
These players are all of superb quality and would likely command a lengthy fee. However, as Arsenal fans will be well aware, Wenger is not known for breaking his budget in order to attract qaulity, even if the Gunners should be in a dire situation.
Since his tenure began, Wenger has preferred to secure cheap options who are overloaded with potential. Thierry Henry cost just £11 million, Robin van Persie a mere £2.75 million and Fredrik Ljungberg, £3 million. This is why it is highly likely Wenger will continue the trend and rather than utilize a large section of his transfer budget and sign a world-renown players, fans should expect an unlikely player to arrive.
BleacherReport establishes seven unlikely players who Arsene Wenger just might sign.
7. Kevin Doyle, Wolverhampton Wanderers
Arsene Wenger needs a striker. Despite captain Robin van Persie currently viewed as the best striker in world football, alongside boasting 39 goals in 43 appearances for 2011, including 18 this season, the backup at the Emirates is slim.
Imposing Moroccan Marouane Chamakh has not boasted any sort of form or confidence since December 2010 and has increasingly become a liability for the Gunners. The 27-year-old will depart in January with Morocco for the African Nations Cup and is expected to either be sold in January or the upcoming summer.
Furthermore, South Korean captain Chu Young-Park is still adapting to English football ater his summer move from Lique 1-side AS Monaco. Wenger has been linked with big money moves with the likes of Lukas Podolski and Alexandre Pato but prove a risk due to price and lack of experience in the English Premier League.
However, there is one striker Wenger has always admired and respected. Irish dynamo Kevin Doyle has enjoyed links to the Gunners since moving to Wolverhampton in 2008. Last season, the 28-year-old amassed eight goals in 31 appearances for Wolves, who boast one of the feeblest attacks in England.
Wenger has been impressed with Doyle's toughness, power and poaching ability alongside his speed and work rate. The Ireland international has vast experience in the Premier League and would cost only around £7 million. Furthermore, Wolves boss Mick McCarthy is eager to secure Arsenal's midfiled duo Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong on loan, which would help sweeten the deal.
Don't rule it out.
6. Alejandro Faurlín, Queens Park Rangers
The Argentine has begun to attract attention from a number of Premier League and Serie A clubs following strong, composed performances in the newly promoted QPR midfield. The 25-year-old has become an integral part of Neil Warnock's side and played a pivotal role in their promotion last season.
Faurlin is a tough and tenacious midfielder whose work rate and intelligence is highly impressive. Arsene Wenger has maintained a close eye on the former Instituto midfielder, and with the Frenchman desiring an extra midfield reinforcements, a deal could happen.
5. Florent Malouda, Chelsea
During the recent summer, there were feeble rumours Florent Malouda could make a deadline-day move to the Emirates following an uncertain future with Chelsea. Over four months on, the French international is still boasting a precarious situation at Stamford Bridge ensuring a winter move could be on the cards.
Malouda has thrived in the Premier League since joining from French giants Lyon in 2007 for £13 million. The 31-year-old possesses over 180 appearances for Chelsea and in the last two campaigns, which included their Premier League and FA Cup double in 2009/2010, Malouda amassed 100 appearances and 29 goals.
A fast, intelligent and effective dynamo who is capable of fulfilling a wing or central midfield role, Malouda would be a signing fans would enjoy and one that could just occur.
4. Clint Dempsey, Fulham
As Wenger continues to search for a striker to compensate and complement Robin van Persie, one player who emerges as a superb prospect if Fulham striker Clint Dempsey. The American is one of the most respected presences in the Premier League and could easily become a terrific Arsenal signing.
A strong, versatile playmaker who possesses great strength and an impressive work rate and is equally quick and balanced, the USA international enjoyed a stellar 2010/2011, amassing 40 appearances and 13 goals for the Cottagers. This season the American international has six goals in 20 appearances.
With close to 150 appearances in the Premier League, Dempsey would implement leadership, depth and calibre to the Arsenal squad alongside providing Robin van Persie with a potential and much-needed strike partner.
3. Alex, Chelsea
Wenger may aim to add further defensive reinforcements, with Sebastien Squillaci likely to depart next summer whilst Spanish teenager Ignasi Miquel is likely to take up a loan spell. Rumours has emerged that Chelsea defender Alex is set for a January move.
The 29-year-old is considered one of the best respected and no-nonsense defenders in the Premier League, who has excelled at Chelsea in recent years. Alex is a powerful, efficient defender whose Premier League experience and leadership would be pivotal for the Gunners.
The Brazilian has amassed over 80 Premier League appearances for the Blues and become a regular for Brazil. Wenger tried tirelessly to secure the the Chelsea man in the summer and January could see Alex's blues turn red.
2. Paul Pogba, Manchester United
Arsene Wenger is said to be hugely eager to swoop and pinch highly touted teenager Paul Pogba from Sir Alex Ferguson. The 18-year-old is currently enduring contract negotiations with Manchester United, but he is frustrated by the lack of first team opportunities arising at Old Trafford.
Wenger was reportedly tremendously interested in the Frenchman before United signed him in 2009 from French outfit Le Havre. A powerful, energetic midfielder whose imposing presence and incisive playmaking has drawn serious comparisons to former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira.
Pogba is tipped to scale huge heights if able to gain consistent football, and if Wenger can offer that luxury, United may be forced to sell.
1. Riccardo Montolivo, Fiorentina
Italian Serie A outfit Fiorentina face a similar dilemma to what Arsenal endured with Samir Nasri. The Lilies have captain, and star midfielder Riccardo Montolivo refusing to extend his contract, which ceases in the upcoming summer.
It is unlikely the 26-year-old will re-sign with Fiorentina, which ensures they will have to sell their captain in January or risk losing him for free in the summer. Wenger is a keen admirer of the Italian, who can cover a number of roles in the midfield and is renowned for his composure and leadership.
Montolivo has over 225 appearances for Fiorentina and is considered one of the best midfielders in Italy, which could see Wenger make a move.