The Independent came up with a list of ten potential Emirates targets and here are my thoughts on the players we have been linked with.
The Independent’s selection is followed by my opinion on each in bold.
According to his dad, Mohammad Zidan is a target of Arsenal, Manchester United and Barcelona. That might just be parental pride, but the persistent rumours concerning the Egyptian striker can’t be ignored.
Can’t see this one happening. A bit of a luxury player and one who flits in and out of games, at 28 may be too old to consider a move.
A somewhat less enthralling target is Wigan’s Hugo Rodallega. The striker has been consistently linked with Arsenal this summer but Wigan’s reluctance to sell (and slapping a price tag of £15m on the Columbian) could prove a sticking point.
Somewhere along the line we were linked with this Colombian and for the life of me I can’t think why. He is a decent player but by no means one who should be in a top four side. Better for him to be a medium size fish in a smallish pond.
Arsenal have already clinched the signature of Marouane Chamakh but they still look short of quality up front. Robin van Persie is a top-class player but his injury problems can’t be ignored. Meanwhile, are Nicklas Bendtner and Eduardo really the players to fire a team to trophies? Probably not, and that’s why Wenger is apparently preparing to smash Arsenal’s transfer record and fork out £35m for the Lazio talisman Mauro Zarate.
A player who’s reputation seems to far outstrip his actual abilities. The 23 year old is consistently said to be one of the big hopes of Argentine football but at 23 is still to be capped! 3 goals in 30 matches last season and the Serie A club wants £35m? He won’t go anywhere and will not be heading for the Emirates, even for half that fee.
The golden boy of the Germany team is on just about every club’s wish list apparently. Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus, Manchester City have all been linked. And so have Arsenal. The fierceness of the competition is likely to hinder any switch from Werder Bremen to the Emirates – but you never know.
A player of resounding quality and one I would love to see at the club. Great touch and vision and the ability to make something out of nothing. Ozil has just pledged his immediate future to Werder Bremen but perhaps next summer?
If one Spanish play-maker departs, just get another one. There are a few rumours suggesting Arsenal are interested in Everton’s Mikel Arteta. The 28-year-old’s consistency and quality have been integral in Everton’s continued good form under David Moyes.
Top notch player who has proven himself in the Premier League. David Moyes must constantly worry that his prized possession will be taken from him at any given moment. I can see him being a realistic target for the club but with Fabregas hopefully staying it would be hard to see how Arteta would fit in the side.
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.
Constantly linked with a move to the club the Brazilian has the kind of qualities that Wenger needs from a defensive midfielder. However I see Wenger given Alex Song the first team spot for the coming season so maybe we just need a good back up for that slot and not a big money signing.
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.
Apparently he is, or has, been very close to becoming an Arsenal player. Good player to have in our armoury, bags of experience and no transfer fee. We will probably fight Tottenham to the death for his services and a move abroad may be the end result.
Another centre-back apparently of interest to the Gunners is Gary Cahill of Bolton. Since he was deemed surplus to requirements at Aston Villa and sold to Bolton, the 24-year-old has been a revelation. Before he succumbed to injury last season, many were predicting a place in the England World Cup squad.
Another player seemingly lumbered with a hefty inflated price tag. Owen Coyle wants up to £20m and that is just crazy money. I like the idea of bringing in some English steel to the back line, but is the Bolton man for the job? I am not sure. There is no point in bringing in a British player just for the sake of it, if we are to do so, lets make sure the player in question is good enough.
Another Fulham player apparently on the radar is Brede Hangeland. The big Norwegian has been pivitol in Fulham’s resurgence under Roy Hodgson with his composure and positional awareness marking him out as one of the best central defenders in the league.
Beast of a player and in my opinion well worth a move. Now that Hodgson has left the towering centre back has the excuse he needs to seek a Craven Cottage exit. Worth a move in the region of £12m and could work well with Thomas Vermaelen, with Laurent Koscielny as a back up.
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.
As short term solutions to our keeping crisis, this is a decent and inexpensive one. I would also give Vito Mannone and run in the first team, he looked good in patches when called upon. We also have the impressive Polish internationl Wojciech Szczesny to bring on through.