SIX Players to follow Angel di Maria to Arsenal

According to Mirror Football, Arsenal have been given a boost in their plans to sign Angel di Maria, with the Real Madrid admitting he’s unsure of his future at the Bernabeu.

The news comes as some surprise, considering the Argentine featured heavily for Los Blancos in a new-found central midfield role last season as the Spanish giants marched their way to a Champions League title.

The 26 year-old also lead La Liga’s set-up charts, with a stunning 17 assists in 34 league appearances.



Several Premier League clubs, including the Gunners, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham have been eying the South American for some time, but it’s believed the Emirates are currently his most prevalent suitors.



But with Arsenal’s new sponsorship deal with Puma reportedly giving Arsene Wenger the largest transfer budget in Gunners history this summer, it’s unlikely Di Maria will be his only purchase in the coming transfer window.

With that in mind, here’s a list of SIX players who could follow the Argentina international to the Emirates – some inspired by his arrival, others more coincidental.

[ffc-gallery]CLICK ON ANGEL DI MARIA TO REVEAL ALL

Angel Di Maria (Argentina):[/ffc-gallery]

SAMI KHEDIRA


Angel Di Maria could soon find himself joined at the Emirates by Real Madrid team-mate Sami Khedira, with the Daily Express claiming the Bernabeu star has emerged as a transfer target for Arsenal and Manchester United…

Widely considered to be one of Europe’s top ball-winning midfielders with a powerful 6 foot 2 frame, the 27 year-old would certainly address the Gunners’ need for a more defensive element in the middle of the park.

Compatriots and former Los Blancos team-mates, having both earned their moves to the Spanish giants after the 2010 World Cup, the Germany international has a strong on-pitch understanding with Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, as demonstrated below…

Furthermore, the Spanish press have speculated that the former Bundesliga winner will be moved on this summer to make away for new recruits…

That could see him arrive in the Premier League for between £15million-£20million, but along with United and Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have been strongly linked too.

KARIM BENZEMA

Another Real Madrid star often mooted with an Arsenal switch is front-man Karim Benzema.

The France international has shown unbelievable form in the World Cup, with Whoscored.com ranking him the competition’s top performer thus far for his three goals and two assists in just two appearances…

Benzema world cup

That includes this tidy finish following an Emile-Heskey-esque clearance from Philip Senderos…

But unfortunately not this incredible strike, with the referee blowing the final whistle just before it left the 26 year-old’s boot…

Arsene Wenger will be keen to tap into the powerful striker’s ability to score and create – during his last season with Mesut Ozil at the Bernabeu, the attacking duo racked up 20 goals and 25 assists between them in La Liga.

Recent speculation suggests a summer switch involving Liverpool’s Luis Suarez could be on the cards…

MARIO BALOTELLI

Mario Balotelli (Italy): Karim Benzema isn’t the only frontman Arsenal are reportedly targeting this summer, with the North London club also strongly linked to AC Milan’s mercurial star Mario Balotelli.

Just in case you’ve forgotten how disruptive an influence the former Manchester City badboy can be, here’s a video of the 50 Craziest things he’s done so far in his career…

But there’s no doubt the Italy international has the quality and firepower to address Arsenal’s desperate need for a dependable goal scorer.

The 23 year-old contributed a vital twelve goals to the Citizens’ first Premier League title in 2012, and since joining AC Milan in January 2013 has netted 30 times in 54 outings, not to mention this dream-crushing header for Italy against England..

Here’s a shot clip of the Azzurri star’s top ten goals:


The Metro believe a deal could be imminent…

But surprise interest from Napoli could prove a stumbling block:

Which brings us nicely onto…

GONZALO HIGUAIN

Gonzalo Higuain
According to the Express, Arsenal are set to revive their interest in Angel Di Maria’s former Real Madrid team-mate and current Argentina ally, Gonzalo Higuain.

The Albiceleste forward is famed for his potency in front of goal, with an international record of 20 in 37 and a La Liga record of 107 in 190, subsequently firing Los Blancos to three Spanish titles.He’s a short vid of Higuain’s best goals for the European champions:

Arsenal were strongly linked with the 26 year-old last summer before his £34.5million move to Naples, where he’s since claimed 24 goals and eleven assists in 44 appearances, helping the Serie A side claim last season’s Coppa Italia.

And following news that he could again be made available this summer by Rafa Benitez, the Gunners are reportedly considering an offer.

But recent speculation from Italy suggests Barcelona are currently leading the race for the 6 foot 1 striker’s signature.

EZEQUIEL LAVEZZI

Ezequiel Lavezzi
Another Argentine said to be on Arsenal’s radar this summer is PSG winger-forward Ezequiel Lavezzi.

The 29 year-old offers a blend of pace, creativity and firepower, as demonstrated in the below video:

He’s been in good form this season too as the Parisians marched their way to a second consecutive Ligue 1 title, finding twelve goals and ten assists across all competitions – including this strike against Chelsea in the Champions League…

The Daily Star believe the Albiceleste international, who provided an assist to Lionel Messi against Iran on Saturday, has emerged as one of Arsenal’s priority targets from the World Cup…

But long-term interest from Chelsea, as reported by the Metro, could prove to be an issue.

JUAN CUADRADO

Juan Cuadrado Another winger option the North Londoners are believed to be strongly considering is Fiorentina’s Juan Cuadrado.

The Colombia international was in sensational form last season and is now transitioning his talismanic displays into the World Cup, as seen below…

Cuadrado stats

In fact, only Daley Blind has matched the 26 year-old’s three assists at Brazil 2014, and he was unlucky not to mark his first World Cup goal with this effort against the Ivory Coast..

Arsene Wenger will be keen to tap into the South American’s versatility too, having featured in no less than eight different positions this season…

cuadrado positions

And his mixture of pace and trickery would certainly address Arsenal’s lack of natural penetration out wide. Here’s a short vid showing Cuadrado’s fancy footwork…

The Daily Star speculate the Gunners have already opened talks with the winger’s agent…


But they’ll face stiff competition from Juventus, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Monaco for his signature.