It feels like it was only yesterday when the summer transfer window slammed shut, yet suddenly we find ourselves less than a month away from the official opening of its winter counterpart.
It looks set to be a particularly busy transfer window for Arsenal; manager Arsene Wenger has already sought to appease fans by promising at least one new signing in the New Year, whilst there’s plenty of deadwood at the Emirates that could do with being thrown on the Christmas bonfire too.
With that in mind, and to save you from separating the transfer wheat from the tabloid chaff yourself, here’s a simple Three in, Three out for the 6th-place Premier League side.
Of all players currently on the Emirates roster, Lukas Podolski is the most likely to leave in January, with latest reports linking him with a move to Inter Milan:
— Barclays League (@BarclaysLeague) December 3, 2014
29 goals in 80 Gunners appearances is certainly a decent return for the German World Cup winner – that includes this integral strike to give Arsenal a 2-1 win against Anderlecht in the Champions League back in October:
But the 29 year-old has seen just 121 minutes’ worth of action in the Premier League and Champions League combined this season and reports of his disillusionment are not hard to come by:
‘I’m not a clown who can sit out his contract’: LUKAS Podolski has repeated his frustrations at being kept on … http://t.co/KDQDXUWgcb
— (@NewsWereld) November 25, 2014
Podolski’s Germany career in doubt if he doesn’t quit Arsenal in January http://t.co/TctbTQtcAM
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) November 19, 2014
Currently earning around £75k per-week too, the bit-part winger-forward is a wage bill burden that the Gunners simply don’t need.
Selling Podolski in January would probably be the best outcome for all parties.
After netting this absolute stunner against Manchester Unite during a loan spell at Olympiacos last season:
…in addition to bagging one goal and one assist in five appearances for Costa Rica at the World Cup, many expected young forward Joel Campbell to be given a significant role at the Emirates this year – perhaps an alternative to Olivier Giroud, perhaps a stand-in for Theo Walcott, perhaps understudy to Alexis Sanchez.
Unfortunately however, the 22 year-old has managed just 55 minutes in the Premier League and Champions League combined this season and clearly hasn’t taken Arsene Wenger’s fancy.
The Arsenal gaffer claims Campbell still has a future with the north Londoners, whilst the South American recently took to Youtube to deny rumours that he’s grown frustrated at the Emirates:
But reports continue to link him with a move away in January, either on loan or permanently, with suitors including the likes of Southampton, Liverpool and Arsenal:
— HITC Sport (@HITCsport) December 7, 2014
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) December 2, 2014
— SwansFC (@SwansFC) December 2, 2014
Santi Cazorla adds quality, depth and versatility to Arsenal’s midfield, but he’s not been quite so efficient in that capacity of late.
Indeed, the Spain international has never matched the stunning form of his debut Premier League season, as detailed below:
And now just days away from his 30th birthday, the timing feels right for Arsenal to sell – especially with just 18 months left on his current contract.
This isn’t just some crackpot theory; rumours over the last few weeks have strongly linked Cazorla with a return to Spain:
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 6, 2014
Current La Liga champions Atletico Madrid are believed to be the most interested party.
Arsenal somehow entered the current season with one defender less than last year and Arsene Wenger has already admitted that he’ll look to add another body to the Gunners’ backline in January.
It’s believed one object of his transfer desires is FC Basel prodigy Fabian Schar. Statistically, he was the best defender in the Champions League last season:
And with his contract entering its final six months, it’s more than likely that one of Europe’s major clubs will pounce for his services in January. In fact, Mirror Football claimed a few weeks ago that Arsenal’s £9.5million deal for Schar all-but officially confirmed:
Arsenal news and transfers: £9.5million Fabian Schar deal edging close to completion? http://t.co/pkNEqqbGMH
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) November 25, 2014
His action-packed defending and front-footed style, as shown in the video below, would suit the Gunners perfectly, whilst at just 22 years of age, the Swiss international won’t put up too much of a fuss if he’s playing second fiddle to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker for extended periods.
However, more recent reports claim Juventus could provide a late stumbling block in the north Londoners’ pursuit of Schar:
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) November 26, 2014
Another defender known to be on the Arsenal radar is Ipswich Town’s Tyrone Mings. In fact, Arsene Wenger has publicly admitted his interest in the young full-back:
— IndyFootball (@IndyFootball) December 5, 2014
Ipswich have risen to second in the Championship and Mings’ form has been a major factor, winning the division’s Player of the Month award for September after grabbing vital assists against Wigan and Nottingham Forest.
He also impressed during a 1-0 win over Charlton in November:
Here’s a look at Mings’ stats over the last two campaigns:
He’s currently considered to be more of an attacking, marauding full-back, but boasting the 6 foot 3 frame of a powerful Premier League centre-half, the 21 year-old could be moulded into virtually anything by the Arsenal coaching staff.
It’s believed the Gunners are planning a bid around the £8million mark.
According to the tabloids, Arsenal failed in their last-minute summer deadline day pursuit of Sporting Lisbon prodigy William Carvalho:
— IndyFootball (@IndyFootball) September 3, 2014
So with Arsene Wenger telling beIN Sport he wants a ‘physical presence with prodigious ability like Vieira or Petit‘ in the Arsenal midfield, logic suggests he’ll return for the Portugal international in the New Year.
Measuring in at 6 foot 2, an impeccable athlete and famed for his simple-yet-effective style, the 22 year-old fits the bill perfectly, providing vital variation to the Gunners’ diminutive midfield playmakers. Here’s a clip of Carvalho in action:
Interestingly, Sporting have just purchased the towering midfielder’s full rights, having previously been under third party ownership, meaning they’ll receive full profit from selling Carvalho in January.
Even so, he will likely cost the Gunners upwards of £20million.