The Premier League title is very much up for grabs this season and Arsenal fans will feel that it is there for the taking for the Gunners as Chelsea and Manchester United continue to slip up. I feel that Arsenal are currently one or two players short of being genuine Premiership challengers, but that could all change in January if Arsene Wenger brings in a couple of players. Other than bringing in a striker as a replacement for the injured Robin Van Persie, where else should Wenger be looking to strengthen? Some steel in midfield, a commanding centre back or a solid goalkeeper, what positions should Arsenal be looking to fill in January?
It has been reasonably quiet on the transfer rumour front in recent days at The Emirates, but if Arsenal want to have a real crack at the Premiership this season, then reinforcements may be needed. In regard to Arsenal’s striking options, at the start of December Wenger said in The Guardian that “we will be in the market that is for sure.” As usual plenty of names have been linked with the Gunners, with Giampaolo Pazzini, Mario Balotelli and Marouane Chamakh among the front runners, but the latter in particular would be much more likely to be involved in a summer move. So which other strikers should be on Arsenal’s radar?
I think that a big target man is probably what Wenger should be looking for, and two strikers in particular fit that criteria. Edin Dzeko is a player who is courting plenty of suitors right now, and it is easy to see why. The 6ft 4in Wolfsburg striker is a real handful for defenders, and his aggressive style of play would be a real asset for Arsenal and has led to claims that he is the ‘Bosnian Alan Shearer’. A little closer to home, West Ham’s Carlton Cole may well be an option as the Hammers continue to struggle financially. Cole has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and is adept at holding the ball up as well as scoring goals, and he represents the safer option, but would he be your choice?
Apart from buying a striker, Arsenal need a world-class goalkeeper but are there many options out there? Pre-transfer window it is Manchester United who have been linked with ‘keepers, with Igor Akinfeev and Sebastien Frey both being mooted for a move to Old Trafford. The latter, a 29 year old French ‘keeper, has continually impressed in Serie A in his time there and Frey might just be what Wenger is looking for. An experienced performer, the Premier League should interest Frey as he looks for a new challenge in his career. The main ‘keeper that Arsenal have been linked with is Scott Loach, and the youngster would be available due to Watford’s problems off the field, but with Wojciech Szczęsny waiting in the wings, surely Loach isn’t what the Gunners need.
Elsewhere Arsenal have pretty good strength in depth and should be fairly confident with what they have going forward. If they were looking to strengthen elsewhere, then maybe a return for two former Gunners might be on the cards. Firstly, Patrick Vieira would provide some excellent cover in the defensive midfield position, and his experience could be invaluable for the development of Alexandre Song. Secondly, Matthew Upson seems to be becoming discontent at Upton Park, and the England international would be a solid addition to the Arsenal defence, and battle William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen for a starting spot. But would a return to Arsenal be a good move for either Vieira or Upson?
January isn’t the best time to buy and don’t be surprised if the January transfer window passes by without Wenger opening Arsenal’s cheque book. However, one or two signings could make a whole lot of difference when the Premier League trophy is handed out at the end of the season. In which positions would you like to see Arsenal strengthen in January and who should Wenger put on his shopping list? Or is Arsenal’s current squad good enough to win the Premiership title? Ultimately, should Wenger stick or twist?
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