Arsenal fans haven’t had a lot to cheer about in the past eight years however, when Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis handed Arsene Wenger a £70 million transfer budget, the red side of North London was filled with a sense of optimism.
Could Arsenal finally spend £25 million in transfer fees and afford wages of £200,000 a week?
Sadly though, what was supposed to be a historical transfer window for Arsenal has turned into a nightmare.
Premier League rivals such as Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and most notably Tottenham have all greatly added to their firepower this season by quickly snapping up some world class players like Alvaro Negrado, Jesus Navas, Paulinho and Willian to name a few.
Having only captured France U-20 International Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini on a free transfers, Arsenal fans do not have a ‘marquee signing’ to provide them with much excitement for the new season.
After a humiliating 3-1 loss to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season and with less than a week remaining before the transfer deadline on September 2, Arsene Wenger seems to be running out of ideas in the transfer market having already missed out on the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Luiz Gustavo.
In my view, here is how the £70 million should be spent, based on estimated transfer values:
1. Daniele de Rossi – £10 million
Yes, Arsenal already have an excellent midfield boasting the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Rosicky, Arteta and an in-form Aaron Ramsey.
However they lack a true defensive midfielder capable of stopping the opposition’s play by making crucial tackles in the middle of the park.
This was evident in their game against Aston Villa. Alou Diaby seems to spend more time nursing injuries and there is a risk of relying on Flamini as he is truly past his prime.
De Rossi could be the solution. The 30-year-old Italian international is a truly world class midfielder with loads of experience having 91 caps to his name.
He has consistently performed for club and country throughout his career and is seemingly available this transfer window. De Rossi can provide Arsenal will strength and dynamism in the middle of the park and would surely be a successful signing.
2. Ashley Williams – £10 million
Towards the end of last season Koscielny and Mertesacker formed a formidable partnership at the heart of the Arsenal defence.
However, this merely eclipses Arsenal’s defensive troubles in the past few seasons and their
defensive frailties were once again evident in the Aston Villa game.
With only an inconsistent Thomas Vermalean as back up in center defence, Arsenal should
turn their attentions to Ashley Williams who has performed exceptionally for Swansea last season.
The 29-year-old Welsh captain will serve as a solid back up for either Koscielny or Mertesacker. Signing a centre-back will be a priority for Arsenal especially since Koscielny is suspended and Vermalean is injured.
3. Angel Di Maria – £25 million
With the imminent transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Di Maria may find himself out of favour at the Bernabeu.
An exceptional talent, Di Maria has great pace and dribbling ability. The 25-year-old Argentinian has notched up 25 goals and 53 assists in his three-year stint at Real Madrid.
He has also impressed at the international level having 39 caps to his name scoring 8 goals. Just the thought of having the pacy duo of Walcott and Di Maria on both the wings is likely to install fear in every Premier League team’s defence.
4. Juilo Cesar – £3 million
The experienced 74 cap Brazil International is a truly world class goalkeeper.
At the age of 33 years old, Cesar was the only player from QPR who retained some
pride at the end of last season with some exceptional performances for the relegated club.
Surely a player of such stature will not end up plying his trade in the Championship this season especially with the World Cup round the corner. He still has a good couple of years left in him and could provide some competition to the unreliable Wojciech Szczesny.
5. Christian Benteke – £22 million
Although www.transfermarkt.com values him at only £16 million, I personally believe it will take a bit over £20 million to tempt Aston Villa to sell him especially since he just signed a new four-year contract with the club.
Signed for a mere £7 million from Genk last season, Benteke scored an impressive 23 goals in 39 appearances for Aston Villa last season and almost single-handedly saved the club from relegation.
He has already gotten off to a flying start this season with 3 goals in as many appearances. Although Giroud has shown signs of promise this season, Arsenal need to sign the 22-year-old Belgian forward to add to the depth of their squad in order to challenge for the title.
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