FIVE January transfer opportunities Arsenal can’t afford to ignore

They say the January transfer window is never the ideal time for Premier League clubs to buy – but that depends on whether you’re looking in the right places.

Take these FIVE stars for example; all highly-talented, all available for incredibly reasonable fees, and all capable of considerably improving Arsenal’s first teams squad for the campaign’s final run-in.

Indeed, being the helpful bunch we are at Football Fancast, we’ve listed FIVE fantastic transfer opportunities the Gunners can’t afford to ignore in January. Something already tells us however, Arsene Wenger most likely will.

Some have expiring contracts, others release clauses and a few simply need a new home.

[ffc-gallery]CLICK ON WENGER TO REVEAL

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FABIAN SCHAR

Fabian Schar
Arsenal desperately need to add some bodies to their defence in January, and one centre-back already linked with an Emirates switch is FC Basel’s Fabian Schar:

Statistically speaking, the 22 year-old was the best centre-half in the Champions League last season, as detailed below:

schar cl

And his World Cup performances were impressive too, amassing eight interceptions in two appearances for Switzerland.

Schar comes with an intoxicating, eye-catching, front-footed presence, bearing similarities to Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen and Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels. He regularly takes spot kick duties for Bebbi, and once netted this wonder-strike during his FC Wil days:

With his contract at Basel entering its final year, the 6 foot 1 centre-back looks set to be on the move in January, likely for a pittance too.

But considered to be one of the most exciting defensive prospects in Europe, previously catching the eye of Barcelona, a plethora of top clubs will be fighting over the Basel star in the new year.

Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan have both been strongly linked, with Lazio also recently emerging as potential suitors. Here’s another look at Schar in action:

WINSTON REID

Winston Reid
Another centre-back option a little closer to home comes in the form of West Ham’s Winston Reid, who reportedly came close to joining the Gunners on deadline day:

The 26 year-old has shown remarkable consistency since the East Londoners returned to the Premier League in 2012, claiming the Hammer of the Year award twelve months later. Here’s a look at the 6 foot 3 defender in action:

His Upton Park contract is winding down – a real issue for the Irons – and a new deal is looking increasingly unlikely, with Reid claiming he’s in ‘no hurry‘ to sign one. That’s grabbed to a plethora of attention throughout the Premier League:

The New Zealand skipper may not be the most talented or eye-catching centre-half to ever grace the Emirates, but he’s more than proved himself in the top flight and would fit well into the natural hierarchy of the squad as understudy to Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

Furthermore, the Hammers will be forced to let him leave on the cheap in January, currently valuing him at a reported £8million. But recent speculation claims Reid will snub his other January suitors in favour of a move to Liverpool:

KLAAS-JAN HUNTELAAR

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
The Gunners may have snapped up Danny Welbeck on summer deadline day, but they’re still short of quality and depth up top. One potential solution comes in the form of Schalke assassin Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who appears to be on his way out at the Veltins Arena.

The 31 year-old is no spring chicken and his contribution to open play is infamously poor, as shown in the statistics below:

Huntelaar passig

But there’s no doubting the Netherlands international’s goalscoring credentials – he’s bagged an incredible 95 goals in 146 appearances for the Miners, in addition to amassing 36 goals and 66 caps for Orange.

That includes an expectantly consistent return of four goals in nine outings so far this season, one of which came against Chelsea in the Champions League:

Like Schar and Reid, Huntelaar’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and although Schalke have plans for a new deal, they want him to take a wage cut.

That makes a January switch seem all the more likely, and the Express claim he’ll be made available for just £3million. But any interest from Arsenal will likely be rivalled by Spurs:

Here’s a look at Huntelaar’s top five goals in the Bundesliga:

SAMI KHEDIRA

Brazil v Germany - FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 - Semi Final
The likeliest player on this list to actually turn up at the Emirates in January, Sami Khedira has been persistently linked with Arsenal since the summer:

Interest stems from the German international entering the final year of his contract, combined with Arsene Wenger recently telling French sports outfit beIN Sport; “We still need a physical presence with prodigious ability like Vieira or Petit.”

It appears the Frenchman is finally coming to terms with his side’s lack of physicality in the middle of the park. A Champions League and World Cup winner, measuring in at 6 foot 2 and famed for his endless energy, the 27 year-old would fit the bill perfectly. Here’s a look at Khedira in action:

A Bernabeu departure to the Premier League is looking increasingly likely, with the powerful midfielder still yet to agree new terms. It’s believed Los Blancos are prepared to sell for around £10million, but his availability has attracted interest from a number of English clubs:

JAVI MARTINEZ

Javi Martinez
Unlike the rest of the players on this list, Javi Martinez’ contract at Bayern Munich doesn’t expire until 2017.

But he’s never quite taken Pep Guardiola’s fancy at the Allianz Arena, often forced to feature at centre-half and making thirteen less appearances across all competitions last season than the year previous.

Following an injury that will see him out until the new year, Bayern signed the likeminded Xabi Alonso during the summer and Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, suggesting the German Champions could already be prepared to sell.

The Spain international emerged as one of the most impressive holding players in world football as he helped the Bavarians claim the 2013 Champions League title, making him a more than adequate alternative to Sami Khedira. Here’s a look at some of his highlights thus far for the German giants:

And here’s how he compared to Arsenal’s other defensive midfield options last season:

Martinez vs 1

Signing Martinez would show Arsenal really mean business, but often discussed in the same breath as Real Madrid, Barcelona and PSG – to name a few – his services will be in hot demand, should they become available in January.

 


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