If you are reading this article, let me firstly congratulate you on surviving 2015 and secondly wish you a wonderful New Year as we all prepare for the midnight minute in which footballing geeks like myself apathetically watch considerably more sociable fellows snog young, beautiful dames whilst enviously crushing a beer can in the ever-lonesome singles corner.
But enough about my dreadful love life and back to the matter of Premier League football. New Year’s Eve can only mean the January transfer window is less than 24 hours away and although we haven’t seen too much action in the winter market over the last few seasons, something tells me January 2016 will be a little different.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has already told reporters that he expects to be exceptionally busy next month in a bid to overcome the club’s never-ending injury crisis.
But the transfer rumour columns have never been the most reliable source of information, their tales seemingly getting taller the closer we get to the transfer window.
So hoping to dispel a few myths and provide a handful of truths, here are Arsenal’s FIVE likeliest January transfers…
The tabloids have been fairly unanimous in reporting that Arsenal are on the verge of signing FC Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny – although Arsene Wenger refused to confirm or deny their claims in his press conference yesterday afternoon.
Not much is known of the 23-year-old as a relatively unproven figure in European football, but he’s claimed three consecutive Super League titles with the Swiss outfit and as an out-and-out defensive midfielder, will certainly be welcomed by Gunners fans as an essentially addition to their squad.
He’ll provide cover for the likes of Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere in Arsenal’s engine room – all of whom could be out until the end of February – and reportedly costs a more than reasonable £7.4million.
Arsenal tried to sign Aleksandr Kokorin on loan during the summer and rumour has it there’s already a deal in place to bring the Russian international to the Emirates in January if Danny Welbeck suffers another injury setback.
The 24-year-old is a similar kind of presence to the crocked England star – more a wide-forward or support striker than out-and-out front-man. Nonetheless, his goal return in the Russian top flight is considerably superior, with four in eight league outings for Dynamo Moscow this season.
Apparently available for just £4.4million due to his contract expiring in the summer, Kokorin seems like a relatively risk-free addition for the Gunners, whose extra fire power could well see them over the line for the Premier League title.
On the outward front, Mathieu Debuchy seems the likeliest to leave the Emirates in January, with Arsene Wenger hinting the veteran full-back could be on his way out during yesterday’s press conference.
The 30-year-old hasn’t quite lived up to expectations since joining the Gunners ranks from Newcastle United in summer 2013 at a cost of £12million, going on to make just 22 appearances across all competitions and only two in the Premier League so far this season.
The France international is desperate to secure greater playing time with Euro 2016 on his home soil just around the corner, which could well result in a loan move until the end of the season rather than a permanent departure.
Another Gunners star who could potentially move onto pastures new next month is winger-forward Joel Campbell.
He’s proved a useful member of Arsenal’s squad in recent weeks, bagging two goals and two assists in the Champions League and Premier League combined, and Arsene Wenger will be reluctant to part with another attacking threat whilst Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez are both on the sidelines.
But the Costa Rica international’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, meaning January is the north London club’s final chance to cash in before losing him for nothing in the summer – or at best, a small compensation sum.
Not that Wenger will be looking to actively offload the 23-year-old for the sake of Arsenal’s bank balance. But if a decent offer comes along – around the £10million-£15million mark – the Gunners gaffer may feel compelled to sell.
Arsene Wenger always keeps an eye out for reasonably priced youngsters and Barcelona’s Sergi Samper certainly falls into that category.
The 20-year-old is still awaiting his La Liga debut but has made nine appearances for Barca’s senior squad in other competitions alongside 88 outings for their B string.
The Spain U21 is reportedly frustrated at his lack of first team chances – Barca B are all the way down in the Spanish third tier this season – and Wenger is reportedly looking to take him off the Nou Camp outfit’s hands.
Uprooted trees won’t be expected straight away but Samper would certainly provide a bit of extra cover in central and defensive midfield until the end of the season, when his development could then be continued elsewhere on loan.
The Gunners are apparently prepared to pay £4.4million for the prodigious playmaker – but his release clause is around double that sum.