Arsenal transfers: Five players Arsene Wenger could sign this summer
Jonathan Spencer takes a look at five players Arsenal could sign in the summer transfer window
This promising 24-year old Frenchman had a brilliant season Ligue 1 and may be a much more realistic striker to target than fellow French teammate, Karim Benzema. As a result of scoring 27 goals for Lyon during the league campaign and being named as France’s player of the season, he has attracted the attention of many top clubs. He has very recently stated his interest in leaving for a team playing in the Champions League, with both Arsenal and Liverpool expressing their interest in this hugely-talented striker. With Arsenal craving a genuine finisher that can leap them to the top of the Premier League, the £21m price tag starts to become very appealing.
Admittedly, not exactly the player Arsenal are in desperate need for but it would not come as a surprise if Arsene Wenger was keeping an eye out for the out of favour World Cup winner. Before he joined Bayern Munich from Borussia Dortmund two years ago, Arsenal were then reportedly interested in Gotze. A lot of the Arsenal faithful may be confused if this came into fruition, when priorities lay elsewhere but there’s no denying the quality of the German. Wenger is known for his slick attacking ethos and there is no doubt that adding Gotze to the ranks, alongside Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott, would put fear into defences throughout England and around Europe. With the player feeling he lacks support from Bayern Munich after not making the greatest impression since joining, Arsenal may step up their pursuit once again.
A move may be difficult for the current Barcelona player due to the contract extension signed with the Spanish club last month, leaving him with a €150m buyout clause. However, the Spaniard admits he may leave the Nou Camp this summer after playing second fiddle all last season, meaning the club would have to reduce that figure massively. Again, Arsenal have been linked with this experienced winger in the past and is another type of player Wenger admires. With plenty of firing power in his squad, the manager may not find it necessary to provide the fans with a true out and out striker. Therefore, this could pave the way for another high calibre forward thinking player that has won all there is to be won.
Due to the brilliance of Francis Coquelin in the heart of the Gunners’s midfield, a defensive midfielder may not be a priority anymore. Although, what happens if the Frenchman picks up an injury or loses form? Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are not up to the pace needed to challenge for the Premier League anymore, whilst Kristian Bielik needs time to develop. Therefore, Arsenal are in a predicament. The Southampton midfielder would provide excellent Premier League experience and vital strength to the midfield, whilst also offering Arsenal plenty of strength in depth. However, Schneiderlin’s weekly wages and Southampton’s asking price seem to be causing a huge stumbling block for Wenger. Manchester United seem to be in pole position for his signature.
Although Arsenal bolstered their back line in January by signing Gabriel Paulista, there is still room for improvement. With Per Mertesacker running out of years at the top level, Arsenal are then only left with Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel as their only experienced centre-halves, with Calum Chambers still learning the trade. It has been rumoured that the north London club are lining up a bid for the Roma defender, who moved from Olympiacos for £11m last summer. Manolas played for Roma 41 times last season, usually playing the full 90 minutes. The Greek international is a key asset to the Italian side and it is clear they will do everything they can to keep hold of him, after the recent departures of Marquinghos and Medhi Benatia. However, the defender would not carry an expensive price tag and if Arsenal were to come calling, then Roma could potentially lose another talented defender.