As the Summer 2013 transfer deadline draws nearer, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are in for a thrilling end to the window.
Recently, Wenger has criticised the media for 'brainwashing' football fans into thinking there is a crisis at the Emirates. However it seems as though the win over Fulham at Craven Cottage has improved Wenger's mood, after which he said he will be busy stating "75% of the work usually is done in the last 2 weeks."
Arsenal are still keeping an eye on want-away Luis Suarez, however Wenger is reluctant to pay what Liverpool think the striker is worth, a fee thought to be in the region of £55-£65m. Arsenal's lack of spending only fuels the opinion that Wenger will never pay over the odds, a theory strongly linked to the lack of silverware over the last 8 years.
There have been 6 targets Wenger has enquired about. Firstly, Real Madrid's French striker Karim Benzema would be perfect for Arsenal and could link up beautifully with Olivier Giroud. Arsenal fans have been crying out for not only big names, but a goal scorer in particular. However, the enquiry was snubbed as Benzema's agent released a statement that he is not leaving any time soon.
The second target also comes from Real Madrid and Argentinian Angel Di Maria would provide a very influential creative spark alongside Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere. Di Maria has been heavily linked within the last 2 weeks and would cost the Gunners £30m.
A third target which was quite shocking to football fans is Juan Mata. Arsenal are willing to offer the Spaniard a way out of Chelsea, where he is reportedly unsettled. Arsenal could easily pick Mata up and again he would be perfect in providing chances and grabbing some goals himself.
Another target performed extremely well last season, although his club went down; Julio Cesar's form for QPR would surely make him a 'must sign' for Arsenal. Arsenal's current 'keepers have been under scrutiny recently, in particular after the match against Aston Villa. Cesar is experienced at the highest level and at the age of 33 still has at least another 4 or 5 years left, just look at Brad Friedel and Mark Schwarzer. The shot stopper would only cost Arsenal about £2 million but there is the option of loaning the keeper for the year like other QPR players have done this season.
The next target is one that has been on Wenger's radar ever since January. Swansea's Ashley Williams. The Welsh international would be a great signing for the Gunners. They currently have 3 natural centre backs, one of which is suspended and one injured which has left them turning to Bacary Sagna for cover. Ashley Williams has proven over the last 2 seasons he is up to the standard required and would benefit Arsenal in their trophy pursuit. Although again Wenger is reluctant to spend the £10m required to bring in the centre back.
The final target is Geoffrey Kondogbia. He is a young central defensively minded midfielder which the Gunners lack. Mikel Arteta prefers a more attacking role, as does Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal need a player to cover the back four. The Sevilla man would be a safe option, however the Spanish club continue to insist that the French international is not for sale but have also accepted that they will have to let him leave if someone meets his £17m buy-out clause.
Sevilla reportedly told Monaco they are not willing to negotiate on that price after the French club made a £13m offer for Kondogbia's services, but with Arsenal, Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid all thought to be keen it seems inevitable that someone will pay the necessary amount to activate the release clause before the end of the transfer window.
Overall, these targets would improve Arsenal dramatically. If they could snap them all up they would easily be title contenders every year and maybe have a chance to clinch their first Champions League.
If Wenger plays his cards right the new Arsenal first team line-up could be as follows:
GK: Julio Cesar - £2M
RB: Bacary Sagna
CB: Ashley Williams - £10M
CB: Laurent Koscielny
LB: Kieran Gibbs
RM: Angel Di Maria - £25M / Juan Mata - £25M
CM: Jack Wilshere
CM: Geoffrey Kondogbia - £17M Buy-Out Clause
LM: Santi Cazorla
ST: Olivier Giroud
ST: Karim Benzema - £40M
These players would cost Arsenal around £94 Million but this shows that Arsenal need to adapt to the modern game in order to regain the glory days that they once had.