It has been rumoured that Arsene Wenger will be handed a £70m transfer budget this summer to add some depth and quality to his squad. But how could Wenger best spend this money and finally bring a trophy to the Emirates?
With Sagna not ruling out a move to newly crowned French champions, PSG, Arsenal could be left short at right-back. The 21-year-old Jenkinson has shown signs of improvement at some points this season but I think he still has a while to go before he becomes Arsene’s established right-back.
Arsenal have apparently enquired about the £4.3m-rated Sebastien Corchia. The 22-year-old Frenchman has put in some fine displays for Sochaux, averaging a rating of 7.07 on whoscored.com and being named man of the match on three occasions.
He is a player that would suit Arsenal as he plays the ball off the ground and is always looking to bomb down the right flank and fire in a cross.
Another player linked with Arsenal is Borussia Dortmund’s powerful Pole, Lukasz Piszczek. He has been on phenomenal form for Dortmund this season, averaging a whoscored.com rating of 7.29 and providing nine assists. Piszczek is fantastic passer and crosser of the ball and would slot nicely into the Arsenal team.
At 27, he has considerably more experience (especially in the Champions League) than the young Corchia. However, Dortmund will be reluctant to sell so he would cost a lot more than his French counterpart.
In recent months, Wenger has favoured the defensive partnership of Koscielny and Mertesacker. Along with the club captain, Vermaelen, they are the only three established central defenders in Arsene’s squad so it is a position that requires some more depth. Djourou will return from loan in the summer but it is unlikely he will feature in Wenger’s plans.
Swansea captain, Ashley Williams, has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates. Williams is a great passer of the ball that would suit Arsenal’s short passing game. He is also a very physical player that could add some rigidity to Arsenal’s back line. The experienced 28-year-old is likely to cost around £8m.
After the departure of Alex Song to Barcelona, Arsenal never really replaced him. Arteta has brilliantly adopted a more defensive role this season but he is not getting any younger.
A realistic target could be Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender. The 24-year-old German has bossed the midfield this season, averaging a whoscored.com rating of 7.43.
Bender is a player that favours short passes to supply the more attacking players ahead of him, which would suit Arsenal. He has a great work rate and would allow players such as Cazorla and Wilshere to push further up the pitch.
Now that Wenger deploys two wingers in his 4-3-3 system, it is a position that he could add more depth to in the transfer window. Walcott and Podolski have been on good form this season from the right and left wing, respectively.
The pair have supplied 25 goals and 19 assists in the league this season. Oxlade-Chamberlain has played a minor role this season but has been a good deputy to Walcott and Podolski as he looks deadly down both flanks. But he is still only 19 so he has a bit to go before he pins himself down as a first-team regular. Wenger has occasionally deployed Cazorla and Ramsey down the flanks but I feel they are wasted out wide and are at their best when played down the middle. The less said about Arshavin and Gervinho the better.
Wenger has long been an admirer of Real Sociedad’s Antoine Griezmann. The 22-year-old Frenchman has propelled the Spanish club to 4th spot in La Liga with a string of good performances.
He mainly operates down the left-flank but likes to cut inside and drive into the box. Griezmann would be cheaper than Navas and a better long-term investment.
After Robin van Persie headed north to Manchester, Giroud was always going to be compared to his predecessor. While the Frenchman has not reached the dizzying heights of his Dutch counterpart, he has put it a lot of good performances, both scoring and assisting. Walcott and Podolski both prefer to play in the central attacking role but I feel they play best down the wings. Other than Giroud, Arsene does not have another out and out striker at his disposal.
Arsenal have been linked with Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic, and have apparently opened talks regarding a £25m transfer. Despite being a very good player, Jovetic is not quite the prolific striker Arsenal need. He has only scored 12 goals this season, just one more than Giroud. On the other hand, Gonzalo Higuain may be Wenger’s preference. Valued at around £22m, Higuain has scored 14 goals from 17 starts this season and has much more Champions League experience than Jovetic.
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