Arsenal. Discuss. The Gunners are a strange proposition at this stage of every year. It seems to go one of two ways for Arsene Wenger, whose side have either impressed, are in the title race and on the verge of a collapse, or are struggling for form ahead of a late surge.
Either way, the January transfer window is always held up as ‘the chance’ for the Frenchman to get things sorted, and 2016 will be no different.
The Gunners are firmly in the title hunt, so there is a real feeling among the Emirates Stadium faithful that one or two choice signings could spark a genuine push as the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United stumble and Chelsea battle against relegation (it’s fine to laugh!).
With that in mind we asked Arsenal supporters to vote for the January signings they want from a list of linked targets… and here are the TOP FIVE…
Linked with Arsenal on a transfer window by transfer window basis, Cavani is a name familiar to Gunners fans. And with great repetition comes great desire it would seem, with the Emirates Stadium faithful eager to see him lining up in the red and white shirt, regardless of Olivier Giroud’s consistent goalscoring return. In fairness, the Uruguay international is a top class marksman with pace, power and technical ability.
Although Jamie Vardy has been making the headlines at Leicester this season, the real catalyst to the Foxes’ rise has been Mahrez. The Algerian is playing like a seasoned Premier League attacking midfielder, with his silky skills and pace matched with the sort of end product that managers all crave from talented wide players. Leicester are likely to be reluctant to sell mid-season, but Wenger has money at his disposal after a quiet summer.
A young, creative player… Neves is right up Wenger’s street, it would seem. The Portuguese playmaker is already the youngest player to captain a team in Champions League action after leading his Porto side out at the age of 18 a few short months ago, which is testament to the level of maturity in the teenager’s game. With a central midfield injury crisis, Arsenal really could do with the Portugal international in their ranks.
Going forward Arsenal could perhaps do with a real presence at the back, and Stones could offer that. Although not a ‘hard man’ in terms of approach, the Everton ace is physically imposing, quick across the turf and, arguably, the best ball-playing centre-back England have produced since Rio Ferdinand. Arsenal would have to pay at least £40m for him, but the cash may be there.
Pipedream? Or Realistic? Hard to tell, but Arsenal fans certainly want Isco in north London. Granted, the Gunners are pretty blessed when it comes to skilful attacking midfielders, but a player of the Spaniard’s quality would be welcome in any side, regardless of the figure it would take to lure him from Real Madrid. Reports have suggested that he’s grown a little frustrated under Rafa Benitez… Could it be on?
6) Mauro Icardi – Luis Suarez-lite. Unproven outside of Italy, though.
7) Jese Rodriguez – Not as popular as Isco among the Gunners faithful.
8) Nolito – A surprise to see the Spaniard so low, but perhaps Wenger’s current options mean he could struggle for game time in London.
9) Michy Batshuayi – Scoring goals in France, but not seen as a Giroud upgrade.
10) James McArthur – As unfashionable on this list as he is made out to be. Ironically, he could be the most useful signing for Wenger.