Players Wenger Must Buy in January That Can Define Arsenal’s Fate
Doubters are already weighing in on the stamina of Premier League table toppers Arsenal.
Record buy Mesut Ozil alone cannot elegantly assist the Gunners to a first trophy in nigh on nine years is the cry.
We look at what Arsene Wenger needs to keep the momentum going.
Case for the defence
Cover at centre half is wafer thin and, with Thomas Vermaelen hinting at a January exit from the Emirates to keep his World Cup dream alive, Arsenal may need to sign a couple here.
Saint-Etienne youngster Kurt Zouma, who recently received his first senior call-up for France, is one name naturally linked to Wenger.
Another is Valencia bad boy Adil Rami. His outspoken criticisms of Los Che coach Miroslav Djukic mean a move from the Mestalla is on the cards.
Zouma and Rami come with emerging and decent reputations respectively, but cannot offer the Gunners any English experience.
Elsewhere at the back, Arsenal may turn to Manchester City’s forgotten man Micah Richards as current right back Bacary Sagna has turned 30.
The rather unglamorous work done by Mathieu Flamini in the holding role is a poignant reminder to Wenger that there needs to be room for this type of player.
Borussia Dortmund pair Sven Bender and Ilkay Gundogan are mention in connection with the Gunners because their sitting presence allow Jurgen Klopp’s forwards to attack.
You will find no more apt demonstration of this than their run to the Champions League final last season.
Robert Lewandowski et al always got the headlines, but Bender and Gundogan formed a key part of Dortmund’s spine.
And it’s because of these recent high-profile performances that neither will come cheap for Arsenal.
Perhaps Sven, the other Bender brother, of Bayer Leverkusen would be best suited to the dirty jobs, and like Flamini could cover at right back.
What the Gunners don’t need is more of the same passing playmakers. Internet rumours link them to rising Verona star Jorginho.
The Brazilian may be turning heads in Serie A, but he is like for like compared with so many existing options open to Arsenal boss Wenger.
There is a definite sense in attack that it’s Olivier Giroud or bust. Nicklas Bendtner is only being used for ten minute cameos in league action.
In the wake of Robin van Persie’s departure in the summer 2012, the Gunners shared goals around more. To an extent this is a continuing theme, given the early season form of Aaron Ramsey.
A proven striker would create competition and provide impetus from the winter months when Arsenal have often faltered in recent years.
Wenger will not find such a player on the cheap. Karim Benzema, for so long linked to his fellow Frenchman, may move from his rut at Real Madrid.
It would still cost the Gunners what was described as “a bargain £20 million” in the Standard to buy Benzema.
Not that the domestic options are any cheaper. Arsenal could reignite their interest in Liverpool’s Luis Suarez or try to prize Christian Benteke away from Aston Villa, but both will cost big money.
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