Arsenal… Here’s the XI you could have built last month

Another January transfer window has passed Arsenal by, and you can almost see the prospect of the Premier League title slipping through the fingers of Arsene Wenger. While Spurs and Leicester currently look like more realistic prospects for the title, the Gunners are rapidly dropping off the pace and could be about to pay the price for failing to invest in January.

Injuries to key players, and the consistent unavailability of Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky, have left the squad looking thin at times and made any sort of rotation almost impossible. The longer that Wenger refuses to invest properly in the transfer window, the longer the club will be waiting to reach the next level with this highly talented squad.

The disparity in class between Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and the rest of the squad has been clear to see for much of this window and it doesn’t look like changing any time soon.

Here is the XI that the Gunners could have ended the window with..

Petr Cech

CechAFC

Cech has at least instilled occasional calm to the Arsenal defence and the former Chelsea ‘keeper has already been worth at least 10 points this season.

It’s worrying to think how far the Gunners would be off the pace without their stopper, and it shows what bold investment can do.

Hector Bellerin

Hector Bellerin

His defensive play is still unreliable, but Bellerin is clearly one of the most promising young players in world football right now.

Short-term temptation might be to add a player who can provide a little more defensive stability, but Arsenal are doing the best thing by giving Bellerin crucial playing time.

Gabriel Paulista

Gabriel Paulista 1

Mertesacker’s recent form has been poorer than Arsenal need if they are to challenge for the title.

When you add to this that Gabriel looks a more versatile defender, when he isn’t being reckless, it is a no-brainer to start the Brazilian.

Laurent Koscielny

Koscielny

Arsenal fans will tell you Koscielny is the best centre-half in the league, but the Frenchman has made a lot of mistakes of late.

Whether a new partner is needed for Koscielny is open for debate, although it can’t be helpful to not build a regular relationship.

Nacho Monreal

Nacho Monreal

Kieran Gibbs was thought to be looking for extra minutes over January and the England man should have pushed for a move away.

As Monreal has begun the dominant force in the Arsenal left-back berth, the Spaniard has proven himself to be one of the most under valued players in the league.

Grzegorz Krychowiak

Krychowiak

Coquelin’s injury has left Arsenal very short in defensive midfield and Krychowiak would be the perfect man to slot in to the protective role.

The Sevilla midfielder would’ve been available for a relatively reasonable fee and could’ve kept Mathieu Flamini away from the line-up.

Aaron Ramsey

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Barclays Premier League

Ramsey has been messed around by Arsene Wenger positionally, yet the Welshman is continuing to carry the team’s midfield.

If Arsenal are to win the title, it is imperative that they keep the ex-Cardiff man fit.

Alexis Sanchez

Hull City v Arsenal - Barclays Premier League

Having just returned from injury, Alexis will be ready to add another goal threat to the Arsenal attack in the next few weeks.

Whilst Walcott has been in poor form of late, the Chilean should add a spark to the wings.

Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil

Form, as with many players recently, has dipped for Ozil. The German’s assists have dropped off and he has looked  a little leggy after the intense Christmas period. Alas, he’s still a match-winner on his day!

Nolito

Football - Norwich City v Celta Vigo - Pre Season Friendly - Carrow Road - 14/15 - 1/8/14 Nolito - Celta Vigo Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Alex Morton EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

With the release clause in Nolito’s Celta Vigo contract, Arsenal should have been jumping at the opportunity to sign this Spaniard.

His age would have broken the usual profile for a Wenger signing but his goals from the left-wing would have been a huge bonus.

Edinson Cavani

FC Barcelona v Paris St Germain - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg

Wenger continues to protest that world-class strikers don’t grow on trees, but, with enough money, they certainly are available.

Cavani, along with several others, could have been lured away from his club if the Gunners had stumped up enough cash and it would have made their season so much more promising.