Another boring international break will do it’s best to annoy Gooners to death, so let’s try to talk about something that sounds much more interesting – the January transfer window.
We will have to count on our current team in order to keep our top spot in the Premiership until New Year’s Eve. Our team is not weak at all but numerous injuries have created some serious problems for Arsene Wenger since the very first day of the season. It is expected that Theo Walcott will return to action after the international break while Lukas Podolski should be available in December and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain early next year.
In January, Arsenal will probably look for a new striker that could take the burden off of Olivier Giroud’s back. The Frenchman has done well so far but he can’t play every single match. Given that we are on our way to qualify for the next stage of the Champions’ League, we should also narrow down our search to the strikers that are not cup-tied for the competition if possible.
What kind of striker do we need? Do we need a like-for-like cover for Giroud (Option A) or someone with better pace and technique that can also be used on the wing (Option B)? The answer to that question depends on Arsene Wenger’s plans with Lukas Podolski. If he plans to use the German on the left wing, than we need a like-for-like cover for Giroud. If Wenger plans to use Podolski in a central role, then we need a pacey striker that can operate on the wing.
It’s hard to find a striker that is both capable of emulating Giroud and isn’t cup-tied for the Champions’ League.
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The German veteran who has had problems with injuries lately isn’t exactly the first guy you would have thought of. However, despite his age, he might be a great short-term option for Arsenal and he wouldn’t regret it either. Klose wants to have his best shot at overtaking Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima as the highest goal-scorer in the history of the World Cup in Brazil and what would prepare him bette than playing alongside compatriots Mesut Özil and Lukas Podolski for some time?
Klose’s intelligence and link-up play are exceptional and his partnership with Podolski – the one that has functioned so well in the German national team – would do well for both of them and Arsenal. Furthermore, Klose wouldn’t be too expensive.
Now, if Klose was a surprise on this list, this one might sound like a shock. The reason why I wouldn’t exclude him is simple: the Croatian striker who hasn’t been in top form for quite a while knows a thing or two about scoring goals and link-up play. If he could return to his form from 2011-12, he would do well for us as Giroud’s cover. He hasn’t scored yet this season but when he was called upon against Chelsea due to Lukaku’s absence, his aerial abilities helped Everton to beat Chelsea – he had assisted to Naismith for what turned out to be a winning goal.
If Wenger doesn’t care whether a certain player is cup-tied for the Champions’ League or not, we can include more players to this list.
The Bosnian striker has been connected with Arsenal since his days at Wolfsburg but it seems this January might be the right time for him to join the Gunners as Pellegrini has more trust in his compatriot Alvaro Negredo. He is strong, capable of striking the ball properly with both feet and scoring all types of goals. His link-up play and technique are excellent. His four-goal-haul at White Hart Lane from 2011 springs to mind.
This one might be the longest shot of all but given that he will leave Borussia Dortmund sooner – in January for some fee or later – in June for free – there is a slight possibility that Lewandowski could be persuaded to join Arsenal. His compatriot Wojciech Szczesny only recently signed a long-term contract and let’s not forget that every striker in the world would love to play in the same team as Mesut Özil. Lewandowski would be cup-tied for the Champions’ League but the striker would be very useful in the Premiership and, if we remain in the competition in 2014, in the FA Cup. We’ll have two difficult streaks of games in the league in 2014 and it would be great to have as many big guns as we can get.
It is highly unlikely that Benzema represents a realistic option but he might become one if Real Madrid sign Luis Suarez or Radamel Falcao in January. The Frenchman has found his shooting boots recently and the Spanish giants would be reluctant to sell him. I’d like to see him in an Arsenal shirt as his pace and technique make him both an Option A and B type of striker but a reunion with his rival from the national team Olivier Giroud is unlikely to happen.
The 25-year-old German has only been at Borussia Mönchengladbach since the summer but his pace and versatility have won the affection of many followers of the Bundesliga and some of them have drawn a comparison between Kruse and the previous big thing from Mönchengladbach Marco Reus. Kruse’s form – 7 goals and 6 assists in 12 games – has earned him a call-up to the German national team and he might be tempted to leave Borussia for a bigger club in order to gain more attention from Löw in the future. He is a pacey left-footed striker that can play on the left wing or as an attacking midfielder. His powerful left foot and composure in front of the opponents’ goal is reminiscent of Lukas Podolski.
Despite the fact Arsene Wenger told the press that the transfer of Suarez to Arsenal is dead, there are rumours that suggest Wenger will try to sign the Uruguayan in January again. Given Liverpool have done rather well so far in the Premiership and have a realistic chance to make a break-through into the Top 4, it is unlikely that Rodgers would sell him in January, especially to a rival club. It is more likely that Suarez will eventually – probably in the summer – leave Liverpool for Real Madrid.
If we include the cup-tied players…
It’s hard to pick just one Borussia Dortmund player that I’d like to transfer to Arsenal immediately but Marco Reus, the 24-year-old German star, wouldn’t be an underdog against Robert Lewandowski and Ilkay Gündogan. Reus can operate both in the middle and on the either wing due to his technical skills and pace. If you add his ability to start counter-attack is reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo and that he can shoot from the outside of the box as well, you’ll realize that he is a full package. “The Rolls-Reus” has a minimum fee release clause in his contract and – according to the reports – he can be ours for just £29.4 million pounds. Now, given the fact that Borussia Dortmund will lose Robert Lewandowski, they might play on the Reus’ loyalty card, the one that made him choose Borussia over Bayern in the first place, and offer him a substantial pay-rise in order to renew his contract and exclude the aforementioned clause.
So there you have it, a substantial list of possibilities, what are your thoughts Gooners?