Oh silly season, once again you’re throwing up ridiculous transfer rumour after ridiculous transfer rumour with apparently no necessity for actual facts.
Whilst some rumours will excite the Emirates fanbase, such as their reported bid for Villarreal’s Gabriel Paulista, others, well… won’t quite so much.
January is always a uniquely chaotic time of year for Premier League clubs however and anything could happen between now and the end of the transfer window.
With that in mind, here’s the FIVE rumoured transfer targets Arsenal should be avoiding at all costs.
Moussa Sissoko is certainly a talented midfielder, with the added bonus of proving his credentials in the Premier League. But is the 25 year-old really what Arsenal need this January?
The Gunners lack the physicality, pace and power of the France international’s variety in their engine room, but that’s served him best in more offensive capacities for Newcastle, last term grabbing six assists as an unconventional right winger and this season operating almost as a poor man’s Yaya Toure, a battering ram of attacking brawn, just in front of the midfield.
Arsenal’s squad is already overloaded with offensive and, at Sissoko’s most conservative description, box-to-box midfielders and their rumoured £15million bid could be better spent in other areas.
Particularly, defensive midfield, where a physically imposing midfielder could have a much greater impact for the Gunners.
A considerably less progressive but equally physical midfield dynamo, Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira is far more in line with what Arsenal should be searching for this January.
The 27 year-old’s reputation as one of the best centre-mids in the business is undoubted, having just won a Champions League title with Los Blancos and a World Cup with the German national team during the summer. Furthermore, the European champions could part with Khedira for as little as £10million this January as his contract enters it’s final six months.
Indeed, the former Stuttgart star ticks many boxes, apart from arguably the most important one; much like many of Arsenal’s current first teamers, the Mannshaft enforcer is dangerously injury prone, resulting in him making just 20 league appearances over the last one-and-a-half campaigns.
Although Khedira boasts the ideal blend of quality, age and experience, the last thing Arsenal need is another midfielder who spends the majority of his time on the sidelines.
Allegedly on his way out of PSG after missing the club’s winter training camp, resulting in a three-match internal ban, a plethora of Premier League sides have been linked with huge bids for Edinson Cavani this month, including Arsenal. The 27 year-old boasts a potent goal record, with 40 in 71 for the French champions and 104 in 138 at former club Napoli.
Yet, firepower isn’t a problem north Londoners currently face; Olivier Giroud is coming good on Arsene Wenger’s undying faith in him, netting six goals in just seven Premier League starts this term, Alexis Sanchez has exploded onto the English top flight with twelve goals since his £35million summer arrival and Danny Welbeck’s contribution of four goals and two assists in 15 league outings for his new club is nothing to be sniffed at either. Meanwhile, Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell are still waiting on the sidelines.
In short, Wenger’s already made his bed in regards to the Gunners’ striking options and should be laying in it for the next few years – especially considering the north Londoners would reportedly have to fork out around £45million to sign the Uruguay international this month.
Many felt Jose Mourinho sold Kevin de Bruyne too hastily last January and the Belgium international is now proving that hypothesis in the Bundesliga, amassing three goals and ten assists in 17 league appearances for Wolfsburg this season.
Rumours linking him with a Premier League return this January however, with Arsenal emerging as the most interested party, seem rather wide of the mark.
The 23 year-old attacking midfielder is a sensational prospect and will likely represent another major European club in the near future. But where would he fit in the Gunners’ starting line-up? He doesn’t exceed upon the quality of Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez, to name a few, and Arsenal are already privy to an enormous berth of De Bruyne-esque playmakers.
Then again, that’s never stopped Arsene Wenger before, so this transfer rumour might actually have some legs.
Amongst the least technically-gifted defenders I’ve ever seen in the Premier League, I can’t think of a worse next club for Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling than tiki-taka enthusiasts Arsenal.
The England international’s limited quality on the ball wouldn’t look out of place in the Championship, whilst his defensive performances, although of slight improvement recently, equally leave a lot to be desired.
Arsenal were strongly linked to the 25 year-old during the summer and many fans feared Arsene Wenger would revive his interest this month. Fortunately however, it appears the Gunners are targeting Villarreal’s Gabriel Paulista instead.