Arsenal may have already signed Chelsea’s Petr Cech in easily one of the best value-for-money deals of the summer, but there’s still plenty of work to be done on the transfer front.
Indeed, those more philosophical among you might dare to claim no Premier League squad is ever truly complete. So ahead of a season in which the Gunners are widely expected to launch their most viable title charge for the best part of a decade, the Emirates outfit are certainly still a few top quality signings away from possessing the perfect team.
Being the ever-helpful bunch we are at Football Fancast, we’ve used our god-given powers of transfer know-how to make Arsene Wenger’s job a little easier – by outlining the FIVE signings that could well complete the Arsenal roster.
Would you like to see some of these FIVE move to the Emirates in time for the Premier League’s opening weekend?
With Kieran Gibbs struggling for game-time towards the end of last season and recent rumours linking Nacho Monreal with a return to Spain, it might be time for Arsenal to re-invest in a new left-back.
One already alleged to be on the Gunners’ radar is Augsburg prodigy Abdul Rahman Baba, who the Evening Standard have described as ‘the best left-back in the Bundesliga last season‘.
It was certainly an impressive campaign for the 21 year-old, bagging four assists in 31 Bundesliga appearances whilst averaging the second-most tackles per match, a whopping 3.5, of any player in the division.
Also famed for his lightening pace and dribbling ability, the Ghana international looks like a fantastic long-term prospect for a club of Arsenal’s stature.
But they’re by no means the only interested party, with Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Roma all linked over the last few months.
Arsenal’s midfield still lacks that physical element whilst added cover at centre-back certainly wouldn’t go amiss, which in my opinion makes Bayern Munich’s versatile battering ram Javi Martinez the perfect summer signing for the north London club.
Indeed, the 26 year-old has been dubbed ‘The Bull’ for his aggressive style and domineering 6 foot 3 frame, which has seen him feature at defensive midfield and centre-back for both club and country.
Yet, he’s also blessed with all the technical quality you’d expect of a Spain international playing for a tiki-taka inspired Pep Guardiola side, so unlike many of the other defensive midfield options on the Arsenal radar, he shouldn’t struggle to keep up with the Gunners’ likeminded build-up play.
Arsenal were knocked back in their pursuit of the former Athletic Bilbao star twelve months ago but might have better luck this summer; injuries saw Martinez make just three appearances throughout the entirety of last season, and he’s now stuck behind a star-studded cast in the Allianz Arena pecking order.
Still easily one of the most impressive defensive players on the continent, however, Bayern could demand in excess of £30million for the 18-cap international.
Arsenal certainly have bigger priorities than signing another winger-forward this summer but Barcelona’s Pedro represents an opportunity too good to pass up.
The 5 foot 6 attacker has done it and one it all throughout his spells with the Catalans and the Spanish national team – namely lifting five La Liga titles, three Champions League titles, the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship – and at 27 years is still firmly within his prime.
Former team-mate Alexis Sanchez has transformed Arsenal since moving to the Emirates last summer and Pedro, blessed with a similar mix of pace, industry, trickery and netting prowess, has the potential to do the same. What’s more, he’s a phenomenal worker – so he should improve the Gunners’ shape off the ball.
Despite recently signing a new contract, Pedro looks certain to leave the Nou Camp this summer after inevitably slumping behind Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the pecking order.
A somewhat more expensive alternative to Pedro yet one that would constitute an enormous statement of title-winning intent on Arsenal’s part.
Marco Reus is up there with the most formidable attacking threats in world football, boasting an incredible return of 37 goals and 27 assists in 82 Bundesliga outings for Borussia Dortmund.
The 26 year-old’s blend of technical quality, intelligence and incredible speed renders him equally capable in attacking midfield, on the wing or up front, so Arsene Wenger certainly shouldn’t struggle to find room for him in the Gunners’ starting XI.
The German international signed a contract extension until 2019 in February but amid a summer of enormous change at Westfalen following the sacking of Jurgen Klopp, he could be decide to move on.
That being said, the new contract means Dortmund could demand an outrageous fee for their prolific winger-forward.
Reports this morning have linked the Gunners with a £40million bid for Real Madrid star Karim Benzema and the France international would certainly be an impressive upgrade on countryman Olivier Giroud.
Indeed, he’s bagged 133 goals in 281 appearances for Los Blancos, helping fire them to a La Liga title, two Copa del Reys and a Champions League title since arriving at the Bernabeu from Lyon in summer 2009.
More important, however, is the 27 year-old’s clear compatibility with the Premier League; he’s tall, robust, aerially combatant and extremely hard-working, and is renowned for his finishing ability with both feet.
Benzema hasn’t enjoyed the starring role many expected of him upon initially signing for Real Madrid, but that’s exactly why he could turn out to be such a fantastic signing for Arsenal; after six years in Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow, the Frenchman still has a point to prove if he’s to be remembered as one of the top strikers of his generation.
Along with the Gunners, Manchester United have also been linked with the 77-cap international.