Arsenal fans are currently in a state of euphoria as the North London club move ever-closer to officially completing a £30million move for Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez.
The Chile international certainly fills the ‘marquee signing’ void at the Emirates, but not every acquisition the Gunners make this summer will require such a stellar fee.
As Arsene Wenger will quickly tell you, signing the right players for the right price is what’s most important. In other words, addressing the notable gaps in the Arsenal roster must come first this summer.
With that in mind, here’s a list of FIVE signings the Gunners should make – all coming with reasonably-priced valuations – that would ‘complete’ Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal squad.
The absence of a high-quality defensive element in midfield undoubtedly cost Arsenal in the big games last season, and recent speculation suggests Arsene Wenger will seek a remedy in Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender.
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) July 7, 2014
As shown below, the Germany international is a tackle machine…
And has developed an uncanny knack of scoring for his country, going on a run of three goals in six matches in 2013. Here’s one of his strikes against Ecuador…
The 25 year-old would certainly bring something different to the Arsenal midfield…
— Oli Price-Bates (@OliPriceBates) April 15, 2014
And after tracking him for over a year, Mirror Football’s John Cross claims Wenger will try to prize the Brother of Sven away from the Bay Arena in a £15million deal. But having rejected a £19million bid last summer, Wenger may have to up the transfer ante.
Here’s a look at Bender’s best moments from the 2013/14 campaign, which saw Leverkusen finish fourth in the Bundesliga:
— EPL Stat Man (@EPLStatman) May 28, 2014
Another intrinsic flaw of the Arsenal roster last season was its lack of pace going forward, especially following Theo Walcott’s six-month layoff with an ACL injury.
Unsurprisingly, Arsene Wenger has resultantly turned to one of the Premier League’s most explosive attackers, France international Loic Remy. Mirror Football believe a deal activating his £8million release clause could be imminent:
Daily Mirror: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants to sign QPR striker Loic Remy. Terms agreed. Discussions over £8m and deal is close.
— Transfer Central TNC (@TransferNewsCen) July 9, 2014
Since arriving in the Premier League in January 2013, the 27 year-old has claimed 20 goals in 40 Premier League appearances – including 14 goals on loan to Newcastle last term, as shown in the video below…
And who can forget this wonder-strike for parent club QPR at the end of the 2012/13 campaign…
A lethal finisher and exceptionally quick, capable of playing on either flank or as an out-and-out striker, the former Marseille man has a lot to offer the Gunners in the final third. This Arsenal fan thinks he’d be a great piece of business…
And as you can see below, he got the better of Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud statistically last season:
— RealFantasyFootball (@rffuk) June 7, 2014
An obscure suggestion perhaps, considering a lack of fitness and form saw Michu claim just two goals in the Premier League last term.
But the 28 year-old is on his way out at Swansea, with Napoli emerging as surprise suitors:
Sky Sources understand that Michu is interested in joining Napoli – well have more details on #SSN
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 9, 2014
And it wasn’t long ago the Spaniard, who claimed 22 goals in his debut season at the Liberty Stadium, was linked with an Emirates switch. Arsene Wenger even compared him to Gunners great Dennis Bergkamp.
In case you’ve forgotten just how lethal Michu can be in front of goal, here’s a collection of all his goals from the 2012/13 campaign:
And a quick look at his shot-map….
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 30, 2013
Arsenal’s title hunt fell to pieces last season as Olivier Giroud ran out of steam. Boasting a powerful 6 foot 1 frame, famed for his link-up play and ability to play in midfield, as detailed below…
…the former Rayo Vallecano star would be a more than adequate understudy to the Frenchman.
With Lukasz Fabianski leaving for Swansea City on a free transfer, the Gunners need a solid goalkeeper who can challenge Wojciech Szczesny for the No.1 jersey next season.
Enter Cardiff City’s David Marshall, who made more saves than any goalie in the Premier League last season, as detailed below…
Indeed, had the Scotland international not been in such incredible form, the Bluebirds’ doomed inaugural top flight campaign could have been a lot more embarrassing. Here he is keeping the Tottenham at bay during an impressive Man of the Match display:
Arsenal were hotly linked to the 29 year-old last month…
— Express Football (@ExpressFootball) June 10, 2014
But recent speculation suggests Southampton have emerged as his likeliest suitors:
Southampton are lining up an £8m bid for Cardiff’s David Marshall http://t.co/ArUoGDTJIg
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) July 7, 2014
Arsenal have been need of a fourth-choice centre-back for well over a year, and the problem could be further amplified if Thomas Vermaelen leaves the Emirates this summer as widely expected.
One potential solution is FC Basel’s ball-playing centre-back prodigy Fabian Schar, who was linked with a Gunners switch ahead of the January transfer window:
Arsenal target cut-price transfer of Fabian Schar from Swiss side Basel: Young Switzerland centre-half could be… http://t.co/yXFm3CaZdb
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) November 9, 2013
Statistically, the Switzerland international was the best central defender in the Champions League last season, as detailed below…
And his World Cup performances weren’t too bad either, making eight interceptions during two outings at Brazil 2014.
The 22 year-old has an interesting knack for scoring goals, even taking up spot kick duties for Bebbi…
And also netted this incredible strike as a youngster at FC Wil…
Squawka.com value Schar at around £9million, but any transfer interest from Arsenal could soon be eclipsed by Barcelona:
Arsenal target Fabian Schar ‘lined up for summer swoop by Barcelona’ to solve defensive problems: The 22-year-old… http://t.co/LBwOpIaY3V
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) February 9, 2014