Are Arsenal attractive again after Alexis affirmation?
Following Arsenal’s much anticipated acquisition of Chilean star attacker, Alexis Sanchez, it seems the club is beginning to once again establish themselves as a major pull. The Barcelona forward has committed himself to joining the Gunners for a fee believed to be worth £32m.
Mesut Ozil’s signing from Real Madrid last summer started a rise in the Arsenal profile, and having Sanchez on their books will only act as a hook for other world class targets and help to retain other players on their books.
At the minute, the Gunners are 9/1 fifth favourites to win the Premier League – a price that will surely drop if they press ahead with their recruitment strategy. Sanchez has all but signed, and the capture of Newcastle United right back Mathieu Debuchy for a reported £7.9m should be announced at roughly the same time.
For around £40m, Arsenal are buying two quality players, one of them arguably world class, and the other a respectable, and very able replacement at full back for recently departed Bacary Sagna.
Next on the list for Arsene Wenger is a robust, defensively-minded midfielder, much in the mould of former player Gilberto Silva. While Mathieu Flamini can do a job, he isn’t as young as he once was, and there are concerns over his disciplinary record. The same applies to Mikel Arteta in the age department, however he brings class to the Gunners’ play, and can often second-guess opposition attackers’ runs, as well as being a capable penalty taker.
Ozil could be the key to one potential target. His best friend at Real Madrid, 27-year-old Sami Khedira, has been linked to the Emirates, as Wenger weighs up his options. Any potential fee is thought to be in the region of £25m, however, despite possessing tough-tackling attributes, there are reasons why he isn’t highly valued at the Bernabeu.
There have been concerns raised about his fitness and attitude, and no doubt Wenger will take this into account before making his move. It could well be a chance to play in the same team as Ozil again reinvigorates Khedira, and the Arsenal manager has proved to be an expert at spotting things other people haven’t.
Lars Bender is a long-term target of Wenger’s and he could renew interest, having seen a £19m bid turned down for the German last summer. He is viewed as an ideal long haul replacement in the holding midfield role for Arteta.
Winning the FA Cup last season, and securing top-four qualification once again has provided the perfect platform for the Gunners to push on. Their target will no doubt be the Premier League title, considering the amount of money high-ups are prepared to invest, though a renewed challenge for the Champions League will also be high on the agenda.
The Gunners are 25/1 to win Europe’s elite club competition; a price that suggests more world class quality is needed before achieving success on the European stage.