Arsenal manager, Arsene WengerI often find that the wait for the football season to begin lasts for seemingly decades, and then when it finally arrives it passes as quickly as the speed of light. This is exactly how this season has felt, we are in the middle of October and before we know the Christmas trees will be going down, downhearted children will be going back to school and most importantly the transfer window will be open once again.

In the wake of yesterday’s article by the Daily Mail, it has been suggested that potentially the busiest side in the transfer window will be Arsenal. According to the article, Wenger will be given £35 million to spend following Robin van Persie’s departure to Manchester United. And subsequently, his efforts are on replacing that very man. For all that Arsenal have had a decent start to the first two months of the Premier League season, lying in 7th, they haven’t really found that long-term acquisition they were perhaps hoping for up front. Olivier Giroud is arguably the only out and out striker they have at the club, but he isn’t your model lone striker who will lead the line and try and play behind the last line of defence in the way that the likes of RVP, Sergio Aguero and Jermain Defoe have been so good at doing over the years. Giroud is the sort of striker who supplements play, but as a result he doesn’t offer the striking solution Wenger is yearning for. Whilst the Arsenal manager’s other summer signing, Lukas Podolski, has made an impressive goal scoring start to the campaign, scoring 4 goals in all competitions, he never has been a central striker and I think both he and Wenger feel more comfortable utilising the German international in the left wing-forward role.

Other players just don’t seem to fit the bill for Wenger. Granted, Gervinho has made a good start to this campaign after a disappointing last one, but again the Gunners boss doesn’t regard the Ivorian as RVP’s successor. It also seems obvious that for now, Theo Walcott isn’t going to be granted his wish in playing in the central striker role and Marouane Chamakh is seemingly surplus to requirements at the Emirates. So the general consensus appears to be that Wenger still needs another striker at the club. The two men reportedly on the shopping list for the Arsenal manager is Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez and Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente.

Lopez is more of the archetypal leading the line type of striker that I think Wenger is probably looking for. At 24, he is a fine-young talent. He goal scoring record is decent if not incredible. My belief with Lopez is that he will probably be more difficult to lure away from Atletico given the recent success that they have had and at his age they will be more adamant to hold on to their striker. I personally feel the better option would be to sign Fernando Llorente.

At 6 foot 5 inches he is the sort of purchase that completely contradicts the model striker I have been banging on about in this article. But there is more to his game than that. He is surprisingly fleet footed and quick for such a tall man, but the key to his success at Bilbao’s is to create space for himself. He also has a brilliant goal scoring record, much better than Lopez’s scoring 81 goals in 240 appearances. He is out of contract next summer and the 27-year-old has already announced his intentions to leave the club. As a result, Bilbao will be desperate to offload the striker a cut-price fee before he is released on a free in the summer. However, the most important attraction of Llorente for Arsenal is that he is has been successful in recent years in a Bilbao side that plays the brand of football that Arsenal play in the Premier League. They may utilise this brand of football to a less successful extent, but as Gunners fans will know at times you sometimes sacrifice slick attractive football for success unfortunately.

It has also been rumoured that Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic and Palermo’s Abel Hernandez are also targets for the Gunners, although the pair are further down on Wenger’s wish-list than the La Liga duo. For all that Arsenal have lost key men in recent seasons, which I’m sure they won’t thank the media for keep mentioning, they actually have a good squad players in all positions. Apart from the central striker position,  the only other position they need to strengthen in January is in central defence where in the absence of Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker they do look a little frail. It now seems apparent that Sebastien Squillaci and Johan Djourou do not feature in Wenger’s plans, so with them two seemingly departing from the club in the near future, a move for another defender would be wise.

The Daily Mail article also suggests that Arsenal will look at a goalkeeper to challenge Wojciech Szczesny for the number 1 spot at the club. I personally see this as unlikely as the club already have sufficient cover for the Polish ace in Lukas Fabianski and Vito Mannone. I love to hear from Arsenal fans which positions do they believe need strengthening the most? Also who would you like to see Wenger bring into the club in January?  

Don’t forget to follow Matt’s articles @Matt_of_the_day

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  • supa phil
    2 years ago

    Koscielny was our best defender last year, and while Djourou is a terrible right back (instrumental in AFC’s poor start last year), he’s certainly no slouch as a 4th option CB. I don’t think Arsenal are weak at CB. I suppose we’ll see how bad this Koscielny knee injury is, though.

    Reply
  • marcus
    2 years ago

    The most important spot I think we need to sort out is central defense. TV5, per and kos are brilliant but Djourou and squillaci are woeful to say the least. We need to get rid of those 2 and get a second tall and strong defender like hummels or Jagielka so that we have 2 towers (per and jag) and 2 athletes (TV5 and kos) that we we have enough balance and depth. As for strikers, i’d also go for either jovetic or lewandowski because of their youth. that said, i’d like to see how giroud does over this 2 month period before jumping into the market.

    Reply
    • Hard Ogura
      2 years ago

      Marcus you have a point as there is no cover for TV5, a left man next to Per or Kos and the sale of Chamakh, Denilson and Park should free some space upfrong and mid field.

      Reply
  • ben
    2 years ago

    i stay with marcus but sure wants an experienced and older Goal keeper too…

    Reply
  • john anthony
    2 years ago

    i think arsenal desperately need a clinical striker. hate to say but van was expectional . need someone like him. though giroud is good but i thinks he lacks class

    Reply
  • LB
    2 years ago

    Wish list, eh ? Uhmn, well I can dream pretty big, I can tell you !
    Ok, I’ll keep it all in the realms of possibility … I think the Llorente’s/Lopez’s of the footballing world are within reach and either would be beneficial to the squad, although I would lean to Llorente as the pref option. I think Giroud will give us a good return on goals given time, but a quality finisher is still required.
    Ok, back to the dream-land stuff … Falco is more interested in quality football than plain old hard cash apparently ? If this is the truth, the exceptional talent could be tempted by the brand of football Arsenal play here in the Premier and I would urge the board to back a record breaking bid for the player – you never know what might transpire ( afterall nothing ventured nothing gained ) ?
    I still think we need to poach Mbia away from Montpelier – he is a quality defender who can play anywhere along the backline and is excellent at getting forward too in typical Arsenal fashion.
    Any combination of the above would work well for me.

    Reply
  • olapade bello
    2 years ago

    I think what arsenal needs now is a centre forward ( fernando llorente) and a defensive mid fielder who can fight for us someone like tiote from Newcastle that’s all for now thank you.

    Reply
  • Chico
    2 years ago

    I think that more urgent than a striker or a CB or a keeper would be a defensive midfielder, with the departure of Song and Diaby’s constant injury situation.Mvila is a fine player, Zonzi and Faurlin have some talents, it is not that easy to find a CM that is good both defensive and ofensive, that shows good technique and pyshique, that is kinda young and with an acessible price.

    Reply
    • Lelouch
      2 years ago

      Arsenal already have an excellent defensive midfielder in Arteta, he has almost everything that is required for a modern DM. His work rate is great, his reading of the game is excellent, he rarely misses a pass and is great at calming down the game. He’s similar to Busquets, only without the diving

      Reply
      • Hard Ogura
        2 years ago

        With the potential injuries to Arteta, yellow cards accumulating and 4 trophies to participate in, its a joke to rely on arteta. Once any pops up it will be back to a gamble again.

        Reply
  • Simon Kibera
    2 years ago

    we need only one striker, an excellent defender and a defensive midfielder.If we don’t during February when they are likely injuries then we will be in a poor state.

    Reply
  • Deino
    2 years ago

    Falcao is the man for me to lead the front line, and one more CB, then kick Squillaci and Djourou so hard in the arse so that they land on mars.

    Reply
  • jack
    2 years ago

    we jst nid a striker only,diz january.n dat striker shuld lewandoski

    Reply
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