In recent days all we’ve read about is Alexis Sánchez’s and Mathieu Debuchy’s transfers. However, Arsenal still needs players in other positions in the squad, the main two being a beast of a defensive midfielder and a solid backup keeper. There are many targets that are both heavily and tentatively linked with the club, so let’s go over a few.
In recent years Arsenal has often been criticized for lacking bite and presence in the midfield. Here are a few targets that would provide just that, in the order we should be going after them in my opinion.
- Sami Khedira
The big German is not only a quality DM, but also one of Özil’s best friends! Arsenal has supposedly submitted a bid of around £24 million for Khedira and he is apparently interested in reuniting with his friend Mesut. Khedira is a big lad standing at 6’2” and has a lot of strength in his locker. He is also experienced at age 27 with over 50 caps for Germany. He brings a lot of physicality and presence to the sides he represents on top of being a solid player on the ball. He is also capable of chipping in the odd goal. He is currently still in the World Cup with Germany which may slow down any move, but don’t be surprised to see rumors heat up after the World Cup ends as his contract expires in a year’s time.
- Fabian Schär
A player many people may not have heard of, Fabian is a fantastic 22 year old Swiss centre back currently playing for Basel. He is like the perfect mix of Vermaelen and Koscielny. He is defensively sound, with some pace and great ability on the ball. He is tall at 6’1.5” and is also a goal scorer with is heading ability and the fact that he is Basel’s main penalty taker. People who think Vermaelen should be converted to a CDM will definitely think that Schär should. Fabian was also in Switzerland’s World Cup squad this summer. Schär’s contract also expires in a year and he could likely be picked up for around £10-£15 million and would likely be a bargain for a young player who could easily cover both CB and DM and be an amazing prospect for the future. As many people will not have watched him as much as I did this past season, here is a video of some of his highlights:
- Lars Bender
Lars Bender is another German international on the list. He is relatively young at 25 and could learn a lot under Wenger. He could be considered like a younger Khedira, but not quite as slow or as talented in the air. However, he is still a talented DM who could learn a lot at our club and provide the big physical presence and cover for our back four that we need. He could likely be picked up for around £20-£25 million, despite his contract not expiring until 2019.
- Morgan Schneiderlin
Schneiderlin is the only BPL experienced player on this list. A great season for the Saints saw him receive a call up for the France World Cup squad this summer. At 24 years old the young Frenchman would probably love to work under Wenger and vice versa. His contract doesn’t expire until 2017, but given the exodus currently happening at Southampton don’t be surprised to see Schneiderlin leave. Likely for the bargain price of around £15-£20 million.
Another position Arsenal need cover in is the backup goalkeeper spot. Here are a few goalkeeping targets, also in the order we should be going after them in my opinion.
- Asmir Begović
Asmir is an extremely experienced goalkeeper in England who would provide amazing cover and competition for Szczesney. However, he isn’t likely to want to be a second choice goalkeeper. Maybe the prospect of Champions League would tempt him, but Stoke are unlikely to let him go for anything less than a major overspend. However, if available, he should be first choice on the list for his vast experience and skill.
- David Ospina
The Colombian keeper had a stunning World Cup and the interest in him is high. His contract with Nice has just expired and he is available on a free transfer. It would be amazing business to pick him up and he might be tempted by the prospect of working under Wenger. He has great reflexes and would be a great addition to the club. Also, at age 25 he could battle it out with Szczesney for years to come and learn more from our current goalkeepers and goalkeeping coaches.
- Iker Casillas
Casillas had a shocking World Cup and he is a shadow of his former self, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still a talented keeper. He is incredibly experienced and is a great leader. He is likely to leave Real Madrid in search of first team football and supposedly Wenger has already made personal phone calls to him to convince him to join. Fellow Spanish internationals Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla could also convince him to join the club. He would likely be available for a reasonable amount of money, but given his form and at age 33, he is a little further down the list.
- David Marshall
Marshall had an amazing season for Cardiff despite their relegation to the English Championship. At 29 he is experienced, but still with a few years ahead of him. Premier League and Champions League football is likely to tempt him and he is likely to be available for a cut price £5-£10 million given Cardiff’s relegation. He could teach the younger keepers at the club some valuable lessons and would provide sufficient cover when needed.
As usual, I will leave some questions to spur discussion:
- Who are your main targets for the defensive midfielder and goalkeepers positions?
- What other positions might we need players in?
- How much do you predict Wenger to spend this summer and on how many signings?
Thanks for reading! 😀
Written By: Dylan.