Having had a summer where Arsenal became the only team in Europe’s top five leagues not to sign an outfield player, Wenger has come under scrutiny due to the lack of transfer action. Now approaching the January window, with every player except Campbell having suffered injury, it’s apparent that Gunners’ fans feel Wenger has to make a signing at the start of the New Year. Fans have their wants and needs but Wenger has always disliked the lack of availability in January. However, with the amount of finance available to him now, he can afford to spend big this window on what could be a title defining signing. But who could end up coming through The Emirates door?
Once of Portsmouth and Real Madrid, Lass Diarra is a well traveled Frenchman that’s never been far of controversy. In fact, he’s played for Arsenal already during his career. The Frenchman has been questioned throughout his career as to whether he had the quality and attitude to be a top professional. Since returning to Marseilles, Diarra has looked more assured and focused than ever, attracting praise from French football writer Philipe Auclair who has suggested his attitude is much improved.
With Coquelin out injured and Flamini and Arteta frail and potentially past it, a gaping whole has opened up just in front of Arsenal’s back four. Diarra’s know how, passing ability and tough tackling French style would be reminiscint of Viera with the Marseilles man more than capable of making driving runs from deep. The Frenchman would come at an affordable price as well. The Diarra link emits a feeling that Arsenal fans will grow fonder to the rumour as the transfer window gets nearer.
Another Frenchman, a different Frenchman. Alexander Lacazette couldn’t be more adverse to Diarra. The Lyon hit-man does less dirty work and far more goal-scoring. Lacazette’s season last term mirrored that of Harry Kane’s with both youngsters shooting to prominence. However, the Frenchman played a lot of football and has suffered, often looking tired this season. He’s failed to hit the heights of last year causing much of the attention he gained to fade away.
However, it’s apparent that Arsene Wenger is a fan of the Lyon man likened to Thierry Henry and it’s not exactly unlikely that Wenger could add another Frenchman to their ranks. Lacazette would come at a price however he does bring star quality when in form. With Lacazette’s pace and power paired with the creative talents of Arsenal, who knows what damage could be caused.
Arguably one of the most underrated players on the continent right now, Spanish international Nolito has been quietly impressing for Celta Vigo. Having created 96 goal scoring opportunities since joining the Spanish side in 2013, Nolito would be another creative gem in the Arsenal ranks while his nationality would see him link with current players Monreal, Cazorla, Arteta and Bellerin. The latter has stated ‘Nolito is an exceptional player’ only fueling links to the Gunners even more.
According to The Telegraph, Arsenal are ready to meet Nolito’s buyout clause of £12.6m. The Spaniard has scored more than any of the Arsenal players this season with 8 goals while only assist king Mesut Ozil has more key passes than him. The German with 58 to Nolito’s 36.
It seems like forever since one of the Bender’s wasn’t linked to Arsenal but yet 2015 is here and neither of the Germanm engines have kicked a ball for the Gunners. This January could change this with Lars of Leverkusen a more than capable talent tipped to cover the gap left by Coquelin’s injury.
The German is a key player in the Leverkusen side yet has only managed seven appearances this season. However, Bender has passed his way to an 80% success rate bettered only by Kramer and Ramalho in the Leverkusen side. The holding midfielder has had a lengthy injury with an ankle problem but upon his return he could find himself at a new club based in London in January.
The German with no defensive errors this year, Coquelin has 1, would be an experienced, composed and workmanlike addition to an Arsenal team dominated by creative talent. Bender’s maturity would provide stability next to an all action Coquelin or a less defensively reliable Santi Cazorla.
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