Three Emirates targets who could be just the right men for the job.
Mark Schwarzer – Manuel Almunia is widely regarded to be below the standard needed at the very top level. While he has the ability to produce some amazing performances (Barcelona in the Champions League for example), he is too often culpable for sloppy goals. Wenger has been on the look out for a keeper for some time and while Gianluigi Buffon was rumoured to be joining the Gunners, his injury appears to have ruled that out. A more realistic choice is Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer, who since joining the Cottagers has been consistent and easily among the top keepers in the league.
Joe Cole In the midfield department, Arsenal could be looking depleted if Fabregas returns to Barcelona as expected. One player who could quickly (and cheaply) fill the void is Joe Cole. The former Chelsea player is set to be on the wish list of many managers this summer having been released from Stamford Bridge. His wages will be high (high enough that Chelsea refused to pay them), but considering there is no fee to be paid, clubs may be willing to pay that little bit more. Being able to offer Champions League football makes Arsenal one of the front-runners for his signature.
Felipe Melo. Perhaps a more exciting prospect (and certainly a more expensive one) is that of Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo. He didn’t have the best World Cup (an own goal and sending off against Holland) but he still represents a big name – something the Arsenal fans crave. A fee of around £15m is being talked about, while Emmanuel Eboue going in the opposite direction has also been mentioned as a possible deal breaker. (Independent)
Some may feel that Arsenal have fallen a long way back from perennial title chasing pair Chelsea and Manchester United, and whilst we have had something of a lean patch it is undeniable that we have the nucleus of a top notch side and what is needed at the Emirates is more of a touch up rather than a wholesale clear out.
I believe these three players could be enough to give the team that extra edge and with a following wind and a bit of luck perhaps next term things can go our way. Avoiding the usual myriad of injuries would be a good start also!
Mark Schwarzer has a safe pair of hands and will sit in well until Vito Mannone and Wojciech Szczesny are ready ready for a run in the first team. The Fulham man is a steady choice and one who will make a welcome change from the comical efforts of Almunia and Fabianski.
Joe Cole would be a top notch signing. One who whilst not costing a penny in transfer fees will cost a pretty penny in wages. The 28 year old still has a great deal to offer and I was a bit surprised that Carlo Ancelotti was so quick to refuse the England man’s wage demands. Chelsea’s loss could be our gain.
Felipe Melo didn’t have a great World Cup, culminating in that red card for stamping on Arjen Robben, after the Dutchman had spent 90 minutes throwing himself to the floor at any given opportunity. The Brazilian is a solid battler though and one who can helpfully work alongside the rejuvenated Alex Song as a shield behind Cesc Fabregas.
These signings would not break the bank and we are supposed to be fairly well off and able to give Wenger some serious transfer cash. We sealed the deal for Lorient centre back Laurent Koscielny so hopefully will look to further strengthen the Emirates squad before the big kick-off.