After encountering another trophy-less season for the Gunners, the manager Arsene Wenger will be under immense pressure to end this trophy drought. If reports are to be believed, Stan Kroenke, the new owner of the club, has promised the manager with a large transfer kitty of around 40 million. The manager has insisted that he only needs minor adjustments to the squad but with the Gunners enduring six years of frustration, he might be forced to bring in some experienced players.
Wenger admitted that he would have to meet a number of frustrated players in the Arsenal squad including the likes of Andrei Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner and would have to discuss their futures in the summer. There have also been a number of players who have been linked with Arsenal and the manager could be looking at some of them to bolster the squad in the summer.
This article discusses the potential transfers within the budget of the manager which could result in a world class team which can challenge for titles in the future.
1. Scott Parker- 8 million
The West Ham United midfielder has attracted a lot of interest from the likes of Tottenham and Manchester City but if Wenger is prepared to spend the required money, Parker might sign for Arsenal. His signing will be of great help for the Gunners as he will provide cover for the troublesome area of defensive midfield where there is no competition for Song.
Also, he is vastly experienced in the Premiership and plays alongside Wilshere in the National team. The midfielder can quite easily slot in the role of Wilshere if needed and can start attacks by driving in from midfield and more importantly, he has superb commitment on the pitch.
If the midfielder is signed, he can guide youngsters like Frimpong and Ramsey to have good mental strength
because the Englishman has faced a lot of disappointments in his career and has shown great mentality to establish a place in the England team at the age of 31.
2. Eden Hazard - 15 million
The Belgian winger has attracted the interest of a number of big clubs and Arsenal are amongst the clubs who have been monitoring his progress. Lille have established a healthy lead at the top of the table and Hazard has been an integral part of the side after suffering a slow start to the season.
Arsenal have been interested in signing the winger as the replacement for Andrei Arshavin who is likely to depart the Emirates after being benched for a number of games this season. If Arshavin does indeed leave as expected, Arsenal could make a move for the Lille winger who signed a new contract recently.
However, the new contract will not hamper him from making his move but the Gunners could be forced to spend around 15 million to secure his services in the summer.
3. Karim Benzema - 20 million / Kevin Gameiro - 10 million
Nicklas Bendtner is set to have showdown talks with Arsene Wenger regarding his future and Wenger could allow the Dane to leave. Robin van Persie is a striker of the highest quality but he has been injured for a number of matches in his Arsenal career and Wenger is expected to sign a new striker in the summer if Bendtner does leave.
Karim Benzema is a young French International who has the capability to do extremely well in the future. The striker has been prolific for Lyon and in this season, he has found his goalscoring for Real Madrid. However, if Madrid do sign a high profile striker like Didier Drogba or Carlos Tevez, then Benzema could be eager to leave the club in order to enhance his prospects of playing regularly.
However should Madrid opt not to sell the striker or price him out of a move to Arsenal, Wenger could look to sign Lorient striker Kevin Gameiro who has been superb this season for the French side. The versatile striker could be an excellent addition for the Gunners despite his small size, his movement and goalscoring ability enables him to be prolific.
Radamel Falcao is another striker whom Wenger could be looking at but it is likely that FC Porto will look to retain his services and after his record breaking exploits this season, he could be priced out of Arsenal's range and even if he is signed, he would demand a regular starting place at Arsenal, which cannot be guaranteed.
4. Per Mertesacker - 10 million
Though Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka have been rumored to be tracked by the Gunners, Werder Bremen defender Per Mertesacker could be a solid addition for Arsenal. The Gunners have a distinct lack of height in their team and have conceded a number of goals on set-pieces. Mertesacker is a very tall defender and is extremely good on set-pieces.
The only accusation labeled against him is his lack of pace but his positioning is immaculate and makes up for his limitations. Besides, Thomas Vermaelen is likely to start every game for Arsenal if he is fit but the Belgian centre back has a tendency to be caught too high up the pitch at times. The Germany International excels in the sweeper role alongside a more aggressive defender and could be the ideal fit for Arsenal.
5. Leighton Baines - 10 million
Arsenal will not need to sign a left back if Gael Clichy signs a new contract with the Gunners in the summer but if he does not, then the manager is likely to sign a new left back because Kieran Gibbs has not been impressive this season. However another option for the manager is to play Vermaelen or Eboue at left back but it is unlikely considering Eboue's poor form and Vermaelen's experience in the centre.
One option for Arsenal is to sign the Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen, who is very capable of playing as a left back and allow Kieran Gibbs the time to develop by providing him time against lesser oppositions. Vertonghen would cost around 15 million but considering his versatility, it could be an intelligent buy by Wenger, who should target him if not Mertesacker.
Baines has been in superb form throughout the season for Everton and is experienced in the Premiership. He has great attacking qualities and though he has not got the burning pace of Clichy, he has good stamina and can be solid in defence as well as make marauding runs down the left flank.
How to generate the money required for these new signings?
1. Denilson - 4 million
It is probable that Arsenal will sell the midfielder because he is considered excess to the requirements of Arsenal and it is likely that Emmanuel Frimpong will receive more playing time in the Carling Cup and other matches where Song and Parker are injured.
2. Abou Diaby - 6 million
Though Wenger likes Diaby, the Frenchman is far too injury prone and is currently not needed in this Arsenal team which has the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere who are very capable of playing in his role alongside the defensive midfielder.
3. Andrei Arshavin - 8 million
Though Arshavin has very good statistics this season, the same cannot be said of his performances and there has been an alarming dip in his pace this season. He has struggled to recapture the form that made Wenger splash the cash to acquire his services. Arshavin is undoubtedly a quality player but he has not shown enough work rate to justify his place in the team.
Also, being the captain of Russia, he will want to play regularly which will not be the case at Arsenal and the fact that he has only one year on his contract would indicate that the player is likely to move.
4. Sebastien Squillaci - 4 million
The French International was signed for Sevilla for a fee close to 5 million and has struggled toform a successful partnership with Laurent Koscielny. The French centre back has not been impressive in his debut season with the club and it will be no surprise if Wenger conveys to the defender that he has no future at the club.
Though it will be unfortunate for Squillaci if Arsenal decide to sell him after only one season, the club needs to challenge for the highest honours and bring in quality players in order to win trophies.
5. Nicklas Bendtner - 8 million
Bendtner is expected to have showdown talks with Wenger in the summer but with clubs interested in acquiring him, the Dane might opt to leave the club.
6. Gael Clichy - 10 million
The French left back has only one year of his contract remaining and should he not extend it, it is quite likely that Arsenal will be prepared to sell him to any club interested in meeting their valuation and signing him. If he does extend his contract, Arsene Wenger will persist with him and is likely to not make a move for any other left back.
Clichy has made mistakes this season but it is difficult to find quality left backs for the right price. Gibbs has been unimpressive this season and Wenger would like Clichy to stay at the Emirates and sign a new deal.
7. Tomas Rosicky - 6 million
Rosicky is a player who was expected to provide the creativity for Arsenal when he signed from Borussia Dortmund. However since recovering from his long term injury, he has not been able to capture his best form and has looked lacklustre in a number of games this season. Though he has been fit for most of the season, he has watched from the bench as he has not been preferred by Wenger.
For someone who promised so much early in his Arsenal career, his inability to recapture his best form has been a disappointment for Arsenal.
Scott Parker – 8 million
Per Mertesacker-10 million
Kevin Gameiro – 10 million / Karim Benzema – 20 million
Leighton Baines – 8 million
Eden Hazard – 15 million
Total money to be spent- 51 million (or 61 million if Benzema is available)
Denilson – 4 million
Abou Diaby – 6 million
Andrei Arshavin – 8 million
Gael Clichy – 10 million
Tomas Rosicky – 6 million
Nicklas Bendtner – 8 million
Sebastien Squillaci – 4 million
Total Money which can be recouped- 46 million
(all the estimated transfer prices are in Pounds)
The Arsenal team after these transfers
Goalkeeper: Wojciech Szczesny/ Lukasz Fabianski/Vito Mannone
RB: Bacary Sagna/Emmanuel Eboue
LCB: Thomas Vermaelen/Laurent Koscielny/Kyle Bartley
RCB: Johan Djourou/Per Mertesacker(or) Jan Vertonghen
LB: Leighton Baines (or) Gael Clichy/Kieran Gibbs/Thomas Vermaelen
CDM: Alex Song/Scott Parker/Emmanuel Frimpong
CM: Jack Wilshere/ Scott Parker/Aaron Ramsey
CAM: Cesc Fabregas/Samir Nasri/Aaron Ramsey
RW: Samir Nasri/Theo Walcott/Jay Emmanuel Thomas
LW: Eden Hazard/Samir Nasri/ Kevin Gameiro
CF: Robin van Persie/ Kevin Gameiro/ Marouane Chamakh