Arsenal need to dip into the transfer market to solve some apparent issues; although who these players might remain a question.
The start of the season wasn’t that great, with many believing Unai Emery’s reign will merely be a continuation of Arsenal’s struggles last season under Arsene Wenger. The Spaniard, however, has since turned the tide in North London going 22 games unbeaten in all competitions and sit in fifth on the Premier League table.
The highlight of the season under Emery so far has been the energetic victory over North London rivals, Tottenham at home and through other hard-fought victories, Arsenal are sitting level on points with Chelsea but only a place adrift from the fourth place on goal difference. The side does deserve its praise for its performance under new management, but it has come at a substantial cost so far.
Arsenal have endured a tough season when it comes to playing personnel. The Gunners have lost Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck to season-ending injuries. Both players were in a rich vein of form before getting on the unfortunate side of the treatment table, although Arsenal have not looked back on their form despite their absences.
Holding’s injury, in particular, has hit Arsenal hard, as right after it many other defensive injuries followed. Shkodran Mustafi, Hector Bellerin and very recently even Nacho Monreal suffered the wrath of the injury gods, leaving Arsenal paper thin in that department.
The upcoming transfer market might just provide some much-needed relief as well as a chance to strengthen other areas of the squad and push for a place in the top four of the Premier League.
One area Arsenal might count themselves cursed is their defensive department. Since the start of the season, there had been injuries to key stars at the back. It all started with Kolasinac, then Monreal and finally the curse hit Rob Holding hard ruling him out for the season. Emery was visibly trying something new with Holding, Mustafi and Sokratis as his back-three, but Holding’s injury has put his plans into jeopardy.
In December, a full Arsenal side showed their total capabilities with a stunning win over Tottenham, although since then, they have failed to capitalise on that result, much due to their depleted defence. Arsenal needs a central defender signing in January to keep their run to get into Champions League places alive, and there seems to be a definitive target in Fernando Calero from Real Valladolid.
The 23-year old has featured heavily for his side this season and has become one of Valladolid’s strong points this season. His form has attracted the interest of Arsenal, who think they might be able to get their man for a lower price and pluck another budding talent for a bargain. Arsenal needs to buy a central defender, possibly Calero, although they are linked with others such as a move for Gary Cahill from Chelsea.
There were some audacious reports of Arsenal wanting to sneak Isco out of Madrid and offer Mesut Ozil in return. Arsenal fans can go back to what they were doing before the story came out because it definitely cannot happen. For starters, Perez would not want Ozil; secondly, it will cost a lot of money. So Arsenal will probably try some other attacker.
The pressing matter for Arsenal is to look for a replacement for Aaron Ramsey and not Ozil, because the Welshman is destined to leave at the end of the season, possibly even in January. So what Arsenal are looking for is a central, box-to-box midfielder who can contribute with some goals. For this purpose, young and upcoming talent from the stables of Lyon, known as Houssem Aouar might be the answer.
Aouar has come under the microscope for his terrific form in Ligue 1 and the Champions League. If the midfielder is to become available, there could be a scramble for his signature, with Manchester City, the next big suitor, although for the player a move to Arsenal might make more sense. He could be the long-term replacement for Ramsey, although he would cost much, not as much as Isco.
Arsenal are flying high this season as they have brought the goal scoring ability in the team back on the pitch. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the Premier League’s top-scorer this season, while Alexandre Lacazette is on 6 goals in the league, although is lauded more for his complete forward role. However, there was another player namely Danny Welbeck, who like Holding is out for the rest of the season.
It speculated that Arsenal might not offer him an extension on the contract that expires in the summer, which takes Arsenal into the transfer market. The idea was to use Welbeck and see how he does and possibly in January offer him a new deal. While things have gone south for the striker, Arsenal might look to move forward with a signing in the January window.
Nicolas Pepe’s £72 million price tag will have put Arsenal off, and that takes them to Cristian Pavon. The Argentine International is untested on European shores, and considering Boca Juniors might ask for a transfer fee upwards of £30 million, he could be a risky signing. However, Sven Mislintat is believed to be closing in on this signing, and for all we know, it might prove suitable for Arsenal.