Thursday, 1 December 2011

5 Midfielders Arsenal Might Sign In January

When Arsenal sold both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in the summer it looked like Jack Wilshere would be the man to lead their midfield this season. However, he suffered an injury before the season even began, and he won't be back until some time in the new year.

Mikael Arteta and Yossi Benayoun both arrived just before the transfer window closed, and Arteta has settled into the team very well since then. Benayoun hasn't had too many chances to play, and when he has it has been in a wide attacking role. He looks capable of playing a role behind Robin van Persie if he's needed there, but the chances are Arsenal will add to their midfield options in January.

It would be a big risk for Arsenal to pin their hopes for the second half of the season on Wilshere returning from injury. They will have a tough battle to finish in the top four of the Premier League, as well as playing in the FA Cup and the knockout stages of the Champions League. Wilshere's return is by no means certain, and there are some very good players who might make a difference to the Arsenal team.


If the reports are to believed, Borussia Dortmund and Germany playmaker Mario Gotze has hinted that he would like to play for Arsenal. Despite being only 19 years old, Gotze has already shown himself to be one of the best playmakers in world football. He has established a place in both his club and national sides, and he looks like he will be a real star of world football in the very near future.

There are very few players in the world who would be capable of directly replacing Cesc in the Arsenal team, but Gotze is one of them in my opinion. His club look destined to miss out on the knockout stages of the Champions League which could possibly leave the door open for him to move in January. I would imagine that Dortmund would want to hold onto him for as long as possible, as his value is sure to rise very quickly.

He has the ability to pick a pass and score goals, as well as good pace and excellent technical ability too. He would fit perfectly into the Arsenal team, and possibly help their fans to forget about the departed Cesc. The biggest stumbling block for Arsenal could be the involvement of other clubs who will pay more than them in any potential transfer negotiations.


Marvin Martin has had a quick rise to fame in the French league and internationally for France too. Despite his recent admission that he would like to play in Spain, he is still a possible target for Arsenal in the January transfer window. He is another player who looks like he might have the ability to take the place of the departed Cesc in the Arsenal team.

Like Gotze he has excellent technical ability and he has the ability to pick a pass, but he doesn't score as many goals as Gotze. He will turn 24 in January which means he is approaching his peak, and that makes him an attractive target for Arsenal too. He was the most creative player in the French league last season with his club Sochaux, and he has made his way into the French national team too.

Arsene Wenger has had a great record with French signings in the past, and he could be the man to help Martin become one of the best playmakers in the world. He might also be available at a price which would be more to Arsenal's liking.


Sebastian Giovinco is an Italian midfielder who plays in Italy for Parma and the Italian national team too. Like both Gotze and Martin he is a midfield playmaker, and Arsenal are in need of some creativity in their midfield. He has an eye for goal as well as the ability to pick out a  pass, and score from free kicks too.

Giovinco has had a very good start to this season with Parma, and they would be unwilling to let him go unless Arsenal make them an offer they cannot refuse. Arsenal have plenty of money left over from their summer transfer dealings, and he would be within their price range if they were to chase his signature.

Like both Gotze and Martin, he has the ability to make an impact in the Premier League with Arsenal if they can make him the fulcrum of their team.


Arsenal were reported to have failed in a late bid to sign French international midfielder Yann M'Vila in the summer, but he is now reported to want to leave his club. He's a 21-year-old defensive midfielder who plays in France for Rennes and for the French national team too. Alex Song currently plays in his position for Arsenal, but his addition would certainly give them more options.

However, Arsenal also have both Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong looking to make a breakthrough into the team in that position. Wenger will probably consider his team strong enough in defensive midfield already, and the chances are he won't be looking to sign M'Vila again.

If he does decide to move for him it could possibly show he intends to revert to a 4-4-2 formation with M'Vila to play alongside Song. I can't see him changing back from the 4-3-3 which has become so popular in the last few years though.


Arsene Wenger has long been an admirer of Eden Hazard, but the latest reports suggest he will cost an awful lot more than Arsenal will be willing to pay. Despite the money available to Wenger I cannot see him smashing the club transfer record to sign Hazard. He will turn 21 during the transfer window, and his future could depend on whether his club make it through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

If Lille win their final game at home to Trabzonspor they will make the last 16, and surely they will decide to hold onto their prize asset for those games. If they are knocked out, there could be a bidding war for Hazard with Manchester City being the most likely winners due to the limitless funds available to them.

Hazard would be an ideal player for Arsenal to sign, as he has a real eye for goal as well as great technical ability and fantastic pace. At this stage in his career Arsenal might be the perfect club for Hazard to sign with, but it looks like he will end up elsewhere.


Arsenal have money to spend in the January transfer window, and despite his denials Wenger is likely to add to his squad. The fans would like to see a direct replacement for Cesc added to the team, but there are other positions that need addressing too. It's up to Wenger where he chooses to spend his money, and I think the five midfielders I have listed are all good enough to make a real difference to the team.
That's it for today.

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