After weeks of speculation, news finally emerged yesterday that Arsenal had confirmed the outright sale of Carlos Vela to Real Sociedad. The 25 year old Mexican forward has signed a four year contract with the La Liga outfit after a fee of £8.8 million was enough to convince the Gunners to renounce their modest buyback clause.
Having netted 47 times in 126 matches for Sociedad, there was a clamour amongst some sections of the Arsenal support for Arsene Wenger to bring Vela back to the Emirates Stadium. However, the forward himself has admitted in recent times that his game is not suited to the pace and physicality of the Premier League.
With the World Cup still rumbling on, Wenger will likely have to wait and operate in an inflated market to land an alternative wide forward. But the tournament is currently providing an excellent showcase for attacking talent and the stunning capture of Mesut Ozil last summer proves that the Frenchman is now willing to splash the cash on the right player.
Bearing this all in mind, here are SIX World Cup alternatives to Vela at Arsenal this summer.
One of the most in-demand performers at the World Cup right now, Sanchez has been linked with a host of leading Premier League sides. Reportedly tired of playing second fiddle to Lionel Messi and Neymar at Barcelona, the Chilean forward is believed to be actively seeking a transfer away from the Camp Nou this summer.
The 25 year old is an exceptional individual talent, as Netherlands forward Jeremain Lens found out yesterday.
Despite having limited starts with the Catalan giants, Sanchez still scored an incredible 19 goals in La Liga last season. It isn’t often that a player of the Chilean’s calibre becomes available and Wenger should do all he can to convince the 25 year old that his future lies at the Emirates Stadium.
One of Colombia’s most impressive performers in Brazil so far, Cuadrado’s lightning pace has certainly caught the eye. Indeed, many newspapers are suggesting that Wenger is already trying to negotiate a deal for the 26 year old currently plying his trade with Fiorentina. Judging by this effort and spectacular celebration against Udinese, Cuadrado has a clear eye for goal. The Colombian notched 11 goals and 5 assists in Serie A this season, form which has inevitably attracted attention from across Europe. Having only recently acquired full ownership of the player from Udinese, Fiorentina are under no pressure to sell on the cheap. With Barcelona reportedly keen, Wenger would have to spend big if he was to land the 26 year old’s signature.
There is the widespread belief that the Vela deal may help facilitate Wenger’s move for Real Sociedad’s Griezmann. Capable of operating on the left or right, the Frenchman helped himself to 16 goals in La Liga this season. Judging by the Gunners’ fans reaction on Twitter, Griezmann would be a popular signing this summer.
Hopefully Griezmann join Arsenal. Love this player so much. — France ✌ (@EhAbbyy) June 17, 2014
— Ròzén Räi (@PunkGunn3r) June 24, 2014
For a reported £18 million, the 23 year old also represents one of the most affordable options on this list too.
Arsenal fans may be shaking their head at this suggestion but it wasn’t long ago that Nani was one of the most promising wingers in European football. However, having fallen out with Sir Alex Ferguson and seemingly failed to impress David Moyes, the 27 year old has been on the periphery at Old Trafford for over a year now. Despite this, the Portuguese winger has proven pedigree in the Premier League and could be a relatively easy target for Wenger to obtain, despite the club’s storied rivalry. Although he wouldn’t be a popular choice, Nani could prove an astute acquisition for Arsenal should their pursuit of more high-profile targets fall through.
It seems impossible that Real Madrid would even contemplate selling Di Maria this summer, considering the Argentine’s form this season. In Ozil’s absence, the 26 year old evidently assumed a more creative responsibility in the side, racking up an impressive 17 assists in La Liga. Although Di Maria is certainly in the shadow of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo at the club, the Argentine still pops up with crucial goals and man of the match performances in the big occasions. The Welshman’s winner in the Copa Del Rey final got all of the attention but it was actually the 26 year old who gave his side the lead. Recent comments attributed to Di Maria indicate that the player is uncertain of what the immediate future holds. But if Madrid do decide that the winger is surplus to requirements, Wenger should do all he can to lure the Argentine to Arsenal. Even if it is just to make sure this one fan delivers on his promise.
If Di Maria comes to Arsenal,Immah strip at the Tom Mboya statue, Be celibate for the whole season and donate half my Salo to Charity — #OkombeIsHome (@mainneli_) June 24, 2014
Having netted 14 times in an impotent Newcastle side this season, Remy has no shortage of suitors in the Premier League and abroad. Although QPR have bounced back at the first opportunity, it seems unlikely that Harry Redknapp will be able to convince the striker to remain at Loftus Road.
Although there are plenty of interested parties, it seems unlikely that any will be able to match the appeal of a move to the Emirates. With a rumoured buyout clause of just £10 million, Remy would provide a versatile attacking threat more than capable of delivering in the Premier League.