Five in five out for Arsenal in the transfer windows
Against Anderlecht, issues were clearly raised that need to be addressed by Arsenal, or indeed manager Arsene Wenger, over the next two transfer windows if they are to challenge for major honours once more. The Gunners are 20/1 third-favourites with Coral to win the Premier League, though purely appear to be rated as the best of a mediocre bunch, battling it out for third.
After letting a 3-0 lead slip at home against the Belgian outfit in the Champions League, to draw 3-3 and just hang on, it is very evident there are problems that need to be addressed in Arsenal’s camp, with the club now 28/1 to win the competition. Therefore, with this in mind, we suggest solutions that may go some way to remedying their current situation, which includes a ‘five players in, five players out’ theory over the next couple of transfer windows.
Lukas Podolski out; Mats Hummels in
Like-for-like, though not necessarily in a swap deal. The fact of the matter is, Wenger has been too soft on the attacker for too long. He made no attempt to close down a cross which led to a goal against Anderlecht, and his desire has to be questioned. An asking price of around £7m may be reasonable enough to tempt someone to take a punt on a player who is competing against five others for a place in the starting lineup.
Arsenal demonstrated they are in disarray at the back, and lack a commanding presence. Per Mertesacker should be commended for the work he has contributed over the past couple of seasons, though his influence seems to be waning. Who better to replace him in Arsenal’s back four than compatriot Hummels, currently at Dortmund, and highly regarded as the best centre back in world football? A fee in the region of £25m-£30m would be money well invested.
Abou Diaby out; Christoph Kramer in
Time’s up Diaby. Once dubbed as the heir to Patrick Vieira, the 28-year-old has endured an injury-ravaged career at Arsenal. His contract runs until the end of the current season, so will likely leave in the summer, with native France a possible destination.
In would come rising star Kramer of Bayer Leverkusen, who Arsenal have been widely linked with over the past three months. The defensive midfielder is the subject of some rave reviews in Germany, currently on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach, in the last year of a two season loan from Bayer Leverkusen. A fee of £12m is being bandied, which represents great value for money, if the Gunners can land him. He would also be an excellent long term replacement for Mikel Arteta.
Mesut Ozil out; Inigo Martinez in
A luxury that Arsenal simply do not need. He doesn’t appear suited to the Premier League, that is more of a competition for athletes. Ozil doesn’t seem to get the space that he did in La Liga, where many teams would often stand off, allowing him to make more of an impact. It appears Florentino Perez did some smart business selling him to Arsenal for £42.5m, and the German has failed to make much of an impression for Arsenal. The north London outfit could still command a fee of around £30m, and Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich is said to be interested. His departure would also allow Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain more of a run in the team, with the England international excelling at the moment.
It has been highlighted that Arsenal have somewhat of a shortage in defence, and Real Sociedad’s 23-year-old Inigo Martinez would be an ideal signing at centre back. If Wenger also signs Hummels, the two players would offer enough strength in depth to cover any injuries. Real Madrid were thought to be interested in the summer, so Arsenal should snap him up while they can.
Matthieu Flamini out; Ander Iturraspe in
It is unlikely the Frenchman can go on for much long. His arrival, on a free transfer at the Emirates was great timing for Arsenal, and his presence added much-needed steel to their midfield. Still blessed with an ability to read the game, and composed on the ball, it is unlikely that he has much left in his legs and is quite temperamental.
Iturraspe is on the verge of breaking into the Spain team, and is one of the bright prospects that have come through the youth system at Athletic Bilbao. A defensive midfielder, renowned for elegance on the ball, he has a touch of Xabi Alonso about him and, at the age of 25, there is plenty more to come. A fee of £15m is likely to be enough to convince Bilbao to sell.
Joel Campbell out; Nicola Murru in
The Costa Rica forward couldn’t have done much more in the summer to force his way into the Arsenal first team this season, but Alexis Sanchez’s arrival, probably, realistically spelled an end to his Gunners career. There would be no shortage of suitors across Europe and Wenger could command a healthy fee of around £10m for the player.
Arsenal need another option at left back, especially with Nacho Monreal not getting any younger, which leaves Kieran Gibbs. A perfect understudy would be Cagliari’s 19-year-old Nicola Murru, who has showed plenty of promise in Serie A and for Italy through the youth ranks. A fee in the region of £6m could be enough to coax the Italian outfit into selling.