As we come towards the end of October, Arsenal supporters are still very happy inside the Football Transfer Tavern.
Two-and-a-half months into the new season, and Arsene Wenger’s side still sit top of the Premier League table, and still have every chance of making it out of the Champions League ‘group of death’ despite a damaging home defeat to Borussia Dortmund last week.
That without question proved the low point of the month, with Wenger berating his sides naivety in throwing away a point and conceding a late goal to Robert Lewandowski.
A noticeable absentee that day was Mathieu Flamini. Whilst the signing of Mesut Ozil grabbed all the headlines, the re-signing of the Frenchman on a free transfer has looked a tactical masterstroke from Wenger, and his absence over the past week has had an effect.
The Gunners have looked vulnerable in their last two games, first in the defeat to Dortmund, and worryingly at times against Crystal Palace at the weekend, when the Frenchman went off after five minutes with a groin injury.
He is set to miss the next three weeks, and big games against Dortmund, Liverpool and Manchester United all on the horizon.
Wenger has witnessed the importance of employing a holding midfielder in his team, and is likely to spend big to bring in another in January.
Bayer Leverkusen star Lars Bender has been the name most heavily linked, with widespread reports suggesting a £20 million deal will be struck.
But since when do Arsenal ever complete transfers the easy way? Here we have come up with five alternatives to the German international for Wenger to consider when the transfer window opens in the New Year.
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