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.
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:
Arsenal and Spurs set to do battle in Fabian Schar chase? Transfer news and gossip from Sunday's papers: PLUS:… http://t.co/nmXxnHqwrW
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) September 21, 2014
Statistically speaking, the 22 year-old was the best centre-half in the Champions League last season, as detailed below:
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.
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:
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) September 1, 2014
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:
— Manchester United (@WorldManUtd) October 6, 2014
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:
— Express Football (@ExpressFootball) October 9, 2014
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:
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:
Klaas Jan Huntelaar is reportedly being lined up by Spurs as Roberto Soldado replacement – http://t.co/aL6Na6NI6w
— Samsung Sport (@samsungsport) October 10, 2014
Here’s a look at Huntelaar’s top five goals in the Bundesliga:
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:
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) October 15, 2014
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:
— IndyFootball (@IndyFootball) October 17, 2014
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:
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.