Nine points dropped from a WINNING POSITION already this season…
The Swansea collapse on Sunday was another disappointing day at the office for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, prompting much talk of ‘same old story’ from Gooners. It seems bizarre that after so many crumbling performances in recent years that the Frenchman has done very little to repair the glaring issues, leading to frustration in the stands and underachievement on the pitch.
So just what can be done at the Emirates Stadium? Here are FIVE options to give the Londoners a little more ‘backbone’.
Dubbed the ‘new Patrick Vieira’, Carvalho looks to be everything Arsenal are missing in the centre of midfield. Strong, energetic, pacey and able to get forward, the Portugal international is the complete package and is viewed, by many, as the best young enforcer in Europe behind Paul Pogba.
Mathieu Flamini is a red card waiting to happen, Mikel Arteta can no longer get about the pitch as he’s needed to, whilst the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky are too attack-minded to mop up in front of the backline. Carvalho to solve the problems? At £20m, he could.
For much of the summer the Gunners were linked with the German, and with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, January could be the best time to nab the 27-year-old. Khedira is another all-action midfielder who’s able to get up and down the pitch and protect or support, making him a useful tool to his side.
Arsenal’s German contingent may be key in convincing the World Cup winner to reject Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich, so Wenger should probably consider an £8m-£10m move.
In a period in which there are very few top class centre-backs around, Hummels appears to be the pick of the bunch. That’s not to mean that he isn’t of the quality of some of the great defenders of the past 20 years or so, with the Dortmund ace a genuinely excellent enforcer.
Manchester United also want the 25-year-old, but weekend reports indicated that the player himself is more open to joining the Gunners thanks to their proven Champions League qualification track record. At £30m-££35m it’s a no brainier, right?
Rangy and combative, Kondogbia is an excellent holding midfielder. Another player to have been handed the ‘Patrick Vieira’ tag, the current Monaco man was linked with the Gunners before joining the French heavyweights upon their return to France’s top tier.
“There’s a lad at Monaco called Geoffrey Kondogbia who is very similar to Patrick Vieira and he played at the Emirates Cup.
“It would take a lot of money to get him, but he’s physically imposing and he would be the perfect buy.”
The words Arsenal hero Perry Groves. ‘Nuff said.
Bags of experience and a real winning mentality, Pique is the calibre of centre-back needed to stem the flow of goals at the wrong end for Arsenal. The Spaniard has recently fallen out of favour at Barcelona, and although Chelsea and Manchester United are leading the race, the Gunners could yet steal in to nab the World Cup winner.
Pique’s composure on the ball and ability to function in ‘the Barca way’ are certain to appeal to Wenger, who is known to like his defenders to be able to play out from the back. A £20m-£25m fee will be needed, but such sums could easily be made up with a top four finish this season.