With Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United appearing to be certain for top four finishes, Arsenal seem to be drifting further and further from their fellow title rivals. Arsene Wenger's threadbare squad has been ravished by injury's this season, but he has insisted he will not sign players simply to appease his critics.
"To buy [just] to buy is not what we want to do, but if the right opportunity turns up we will do it," Wenger told a news conference. "There is a need there, but the right opportunity has to come up.
The Emirates outfit sit in fifth place in the Premier League, 13 points off the top spot, and with Southampton, West Ham and arch-rivals Tottenham putting increasing pressure on the Gunners for the final top four place, they face the real possibility of missing out on a Champions League spot.
Here are the players Arsenal should sign if they want to challenge for the Premier League again.
The Gunners have been crying out for a powerful defensive midfielder since the departure of Patrick Vieira in 2005, but could have finally identified a true successor to their former captain in the form of Sporting Lisbon star William Carvalho.
Wenger has identified the need for a holding midfielder, and with Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Flamini’s contracts expiring at the end of the season, now would be the perfect time to move for the Portuguese midfield enforcer.
His powerful presence and innate passing ability would be ideal for Wenger's side, and the Frenchman had identified Carvalho as a transfer target in the Summer window, but a complication over the players third party saw the move broke down. Lisbon have now bought all of Carvalho’s rights, meaning a £25 million could be enough to convince Sporting to part with the jewel in their crown.
The news that the Uruguayan forward has not been included in Paris Saint-Germain's winter training camp in Marrakech will have boosted Wenger's hopes of concluding a shock deal for El Matador.
Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud have contributed just nine goals between them this season, which is poor compared to the respective output of Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa, who have 14 and 13 goals respectively. The lack of a world class goalscorer separates Arsenal from the rest of their title rivals, and the signing of the former Napoli hitman would ease the burden on top scorer Alexis Sanchez, who at times seems to be single handedly pushing the Gunners top four charge.
Laurent Blanc has apparently accepted Cavani's impending exit, meaning a club record £55 million deal could be on the cards.
After more than 200 clean sheets in a 10 year spell, Petr Cech's time at Stamford Bridge looks set to come to an end in January after being dislodged as Chelsea's number one by Thibaut Courtois, which means he could make the move north of the Thames to the Emirates.
Arsenal's current first choice stopper Wojciech Szczesny has cut the mistakes out of his game that plagued his early career, however his decision making still leaves a lot to be desired. If a truly world class 'keeper in the form of Cech is available for as little as £7 million Wenger should definitely swoop. Whether Mourinho would sell to a bitter rival remains to be seen, however.
Reports from the Telegraph claim that Wenger is actively trying to sign a new centre-back for Arsenal early in the January transfer window, with the likes of Winston Reid, Tyrone Mings and Saint Etienne captain Loic Perrin emerging as the most likely options, however the man to best fill the gaping hole in the Gunners back four would be Athletic Bilbao starlet Aymeric Laporte.
If you haven't already heard of the 20-year-old, believe me, you will have in the next few years. The youngster is expected to star for hosts France at Euro 2016, and would be a much needed addition to a squad that currently boasts just two senior centre backs in Lauren Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
The Basque side drive a notoriously hard bargain when it comes to letting their players leave, but given his age and huge potential, Wenger should have no reservations over meeting the youngsters £32million buy-out clause.
The Dortmund poster boy is being heavily tipped to depart the Westfalenstadion in the January window, however Arsenal are by no means the only club tracking the German star, with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea also tracking the 25-year-old.
According to The Mirror, Reus does have concerns that he will be unable to challenge for major honours at the Emirates, however could - with Mesut Ozil through the centre, and Alexis Sanchez on the right- give Arsenal one of the most feared attacking midfield units in world football.
If Wenger could trounce the rest of Europe's glamour clubs to the £20 million signing is another matter, however the opportunity to sign one of the most coveted stars in world football is one the Arsenal manager can not afford to pass up.
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