Arsenal go into the New Year 5th in the Barclays Premier League after an already up and down season. They have qualified for the second round of the Champions League, but were knocked out of the domestic cup competition by League 2 opposition Bradford City. Now comes the time for change, the time when you can add and dispose, it’s the January Transfer window.
As per, December has been full of transfer rumours and 31 days in January rarely let us down. Last minute transfers, shock transfers, it has the lot. This season it should be no different.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with a few players already, Barcelona’s David Villa, West Ham’s Diame and Schalke’s Klaas Jan Huntelaar to name but a few, but do Arsenal really need to change a lot?
This season (especially early season) they have impressed me. Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski look like top signings but if they do need to do anything this January it is offload before they import.
Arsenal have a number of players who are below average or just simply not cut out for the Premier League and they need to go. Arshavin, Gervinho, Djourou, Santos, Chamakh are first to spring to mind. Arsenal also have a number of players who are out on loan who, in my opinion, will never make it at Arsenal, Park (Celta Vigo), Denilson (Sao Paulo), Nicklas Bendtner (Juventus), and Emmanuel Frimpong (Charlton).
The above 9 names need to be disposed of by Arsene Wenger as soon as possible, not only will this free up squad space but will increase the funds available to Wenger to bring in fresh faces. Arsenal have a fantastic first team, however when injuries and suspensions come into play, they lack quality back up.
After watching Arsenal – Newcastle yesterday, Arsenal need to move to 4-4-2 pairing Giroud and Walcott in attack. The 4-3-3 was leaving Arsenal vulnerable at times and I believe this new formation could make them more compact as a unit therefore harder to break down. Another striker is needed; Giroud, Walcott and Podolski, there needs to be a fourth and as shown above the name that has been on everyone’s lips is Barcelona and Spain international David Villa.
Villa is now 31 and in footballing terms he has passed him peak. After his horrific leg break he has not seemed the same player and rumours have been thrown across Europe that he will be leaving Spain in the near future. I for one believe this is not what Arsenal require. David Villa will cost at least £10,000,000 and at his age I can not see much of a return on that price.
A name recently on Arsenal fans lips is Atletico Madrid’s attacking midfielder Arda Turan. The Turkish international has impressed this season in a budding Madrid side and this in turn has sparked interest from across Europe. Turan will cost around the same price as David Villa and at 6 years younger Turan would be the way to go. Another option, I believe the better option, is Newcastle United’s want away striker Demba Ba. Demba is a proven Premier League goalscorer and in recent years this is what Arsenal tend to shy away from, but with a £7,000,000 release clause this is too good to miss.
In midfield Arsenal need an anchorman, they need a Patrick Viera. Abou Diaby is the answer for some Arsenal fans but with the injuries, names have been mentioned and rumours have been circulating this December. Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Mohamed Diame (West Ham) are a few names to be linked with a move to the Emirates.
One player that hasn’t been mentioned and I believe would be a fantastic signing for any club is West Bromwich Albion defensive midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu. I have watched Mulumbu a few times this season and each time I have been impressed, he is solid in the tackle and plays the simple game. He does the classic defensive midfielder job, breaks up play and distributes the ball. This what Arsenal need and as we all know Arsene Wenger is tight when it comes to spending, so maybe snapping up the Congo international would be a cheaper and a wiser option.
Anything can happen with Arsenal as we know, but Arsene needs to be clever in January to secure that lucrative top 4 position. Arsene has been living on the edge this season, and after the defeat to Bradford many were calling for his head. The second half of the season needs to start well at Southampton and as a Portsmouth fan I hope Arsenal kick off 2013 in style.