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25 Arsenal Transfer Targets – A look

The transfer window is almost upon as, and the waves of transfer rumors are intensifying more than ever. There are rumors of the most outrageous of proportions, and then there are those, where you go “Ah well!”. Here’s a definitive look at all the players linked to Arsenal.


1) Pepe Reina (Age – 30)

Current Club – Liverpool

Rumour Rating – Pretty weak at the moment. Despite talk that Brendan Rodgers isn’t happy with Reina’s keeping, and could swoop in for Jack Butland, there is no real indication of that.

Attributes – Good shotstopper, commands his area well, decent distribution.

Pedigree – Pretty decent. Unfortunately, for Reina, he was born in the same generation as Iker Casillas. Signed from Villarreal in 2005, Reina has been number one choice at Anfield, but his career has been plagued by clumsy errors. Arsenal have been beneficiaries themselves, in 2010 when he failed to hold on to a Chamakh header, and earlier this season, when the ball squirmed into the net off him, through a Cazorla shot.

Do we need him? – Not really. Szczesny is number one, and Fabianski and Mannone aren’t bad options for 2nd and 3rd choice goalkeepers.

Probability of Happening – Pretty low. Liverpool won’t sell unless they get a good replacement, and Wenger doesn’t really like splashing out on keepers. Either ways, Reina wouldn’t want to play second fiddle to Szczesny.



2) Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Age – 23)

Current Club – Montpellier

Rumour Rating – Medium. These rumors circulated at the start of the season, but didn’t materialize.

Attributes – Strong, uncompromising defender, good leader, versatile, tough-tackling and strong in the air.

Pedigree – Broke into Montpellier’s first team in 2007, as a 18 year old, and grew in stature. Is the club captain and led the club to their first league title in their history, also earning international caps for France. Impressed in both games against Arsenal this season.

Do we need him? – Probably we do. With Johan Djourou increasingly looking for a move away to save his career, and Squillaci set to be released at the end of the season, he would be a great signing in defence for the club. But, he will have to compete with 3 world class centre-backs to start, in Koscielny, Mertesacker and Vermaelen. His versatility could be of good use, as he is used to play in Yaya Toure-like role.

Probability of Happening – Pretty low. The player indicated he prefers Milan over Arsenal, and going from captain of a French league winning side, despite all their present troubles, to 4th choice centre-back at a club struggling to finish 4th in the English league, may not be a very wise career choice.


3) Luke Shaw (Age – 17)

Current Club – Southampton

Rumour Rating – Medium. He has been linked to a host of top clubs.

Attributes – Not completely sure, but he is known to have good pace, dribbling ability and ball control.

Pedigree – He comes from a famed production line of quality players, which includes Walcott, Bale and Chamberlain. Still very young, but already considered a player with a lot of potential.

Do we need him? – Again, not really. Kieran Gibbs looks like he will be our left-back for years to come, and although Andre Santos may leave at the end of the season, Jernade Meade looks like a promising prospect.

Probability of Happening – Medium. Knowing Arsene Wenger’s fondness for young talents from Southampton, this could very well happen.


4) Dani Alves (Age – 29)

Current Club – Barcelona

Rumour Rating – Weak. Sidelined at Barcelona, due to the rise of youngster Martin Montoya.

Attributes – Strong defender. Never loses the ball. Duh! Runs around 2km more than the team average. Great work ethic and hard-working. Good crosses, and can score goals as well.

Pedigree – Strong. How bad can Brazilian full-backs be? I mean, see Andre Santos. Well, on a serious note, Alves is one of the best right-backs out there.

Do we need him? – Not right now. Bacary Sagna has been linked with a move away at the end of the season. But, Carl Jenkinson has shown enough promise. Bringing Alves would curb Jenkinson.

Probability of Happening – Low. Can’t see this going through.



5) Luiz Gustavo  (Age – 25)

Current Club – Bayern Munich

Rumour Rating – Medium to Strong. These rumors started recently, thanks to Arsenal’s indifferent form, which seemed to boil over after the defeat to Swansea.

Attributes – A good tough tackling midfielder. Versatile and can play across the back line.

Pedigree – Good pedigree. Had a good season last year, but has found lesser game time with the arrival of Spain international Javi Martinez at Bayern.

Do we need him? – Would be a great option to keep in the transfer window. The squad looks short of personnel in defensive midfield. Diaby is out injured, Arteta doesn’t really look comfortable there and Coquelin is not playing at his best level.

Probability of Happening – Medium to strong. Would be a great signing.


6) Marrouane Fellaini  (Age – 25)

Current Club – Everton

Rumour Rating – Medium.

Attributes – Strong, and a pain in the a*se for the opposition. In your face all the time (Nemanja Vidic discovered the hard way), and can be effective all over central midfield, and has been used even as a makeshift striker. Has a penchant for reserving his best against Manure. Also known for his penchant for picking up bookings. Good at identifying cunts and headbutting them. For example, Ryan Shawcross.

Pedigree – Strong pedigree. One of the best central midfielders in the league at the moment. But has a long list of disciplinary issues. Picks up cards faster than Everton pick up points.

Do we need him? – Yes Please. But, only if he is willing to curb his attaking instincts, and become more disciplined. Would add much needed bite into midfield. Could be a perfect foil for more creative players like Wilshere, Arteta and Cazorla.

Probability of Happening – Medium. Everton may not be able to hold on to him longer, considering all the attention he is garnering. But, we may have to ward off interest from other bidders.


7) Yann M’Vila  (Age – 22)

Current Club – Rennes

Rumour Rating – Medium.

Attributes – Typical defensive midfielder. Strong, built like an ox, unflinching on the tackle.

Pedigree – Mixed. He was highly noted for captaining his club side at a young age and being their best player. But, has had discipline issues with the national team, when he was banned for 18 months from international football, for going on a night-out, whilst with the U-21 side.

Do we need him? – Maybe we do. Maybe we don’t. His stock has considerably fallen recently. His quality is unquestioned, but his consistency and discipline are question marks.

Probability of Happening – Medium. Supposedly, he was precariously close to joining the club, and Arsene Wenger may go for him again, as he has already rated him highly.


8) Kevin Strootman (Age – 22)

Current Club – PSV Eindhoven

Rumour Rating – Weak. Linked heavily to Manure, though.

Attributes – Central midfielder capable of playing in a defensive role, as well as an attacking role. Has a fantastic eye for a creative pass.

Pedigree – So far, good. Since joining PSV last season from Utrecht, he has been a first team regular. Earned himself an international call up, and has not looked back since.

Do we need him? – Not really sure. At the moment, the need for a defensive midfielder is more than a midfielder who can play both roles.

Probability of Happening – Low. PSV may demand a huge fee, which Manure may be able to pump up.


9) Mohamed Diame (Age – 25)

Current Club – West Ham United

Rumour Rating – Medium. Rumors started recently, after his strong performances for the Hammers.

Attributes – Powerful midfielder. A carbon copy of Yaya Toure. Not shy to tackle or go forward, and puts his body on the line when required. Not the most consistent.

Pedigree – Growing. Not many noticed him at Wigan, but he has been a vital player in West Ham’s rise. How did Wigan let him go on a free?

Do we need him? – Why not? Knowing that Diaby is perennially injured, he would add a new dimension to the midfield.

Probability of Happening – Medium. He joined West Ham just months earlier, but may be available for as little as £4 million if some reports are to be believed.


10) Lewis Holtby  (Age – 22)

Current Club – Schalke 04

Rumour Rating – Medium to Strong. He has been linked to several top clubs in England, including his beloved Everton.

Attributes – Typical German midfielder. Efficient, neat passer of the ball, with a great vision. Can also score goals. Got some neat hair.

Pedigree – Pretty good. Has earned a lot of good reviews for his performances with Schalke. In contention to play for Germany, despite the plethora of talent available in their midfield.

Do we need him? – Why not? With Rosicky and Diaby addicted to injuries, Holtby could be a breath of fresh air. He is technically very good, and will suit well to the already existing dwarf sized Arsenal midfield.

Probability of Happening – Medium to strong. With his contract over in the summer, he is free to sign a pre-contract in January. With Arsene Wenger a long term admirer, and the player himself wanting to move to Arsenal, could be a great coup.


11) Stewart Downing (Age – 28)

Current Club – Liverpool

Rumour Rating – Weak. Came once or twice in the tabloids and since blown out of proportion.

Attributes – Hmm. Let’s see. He can cross. Scores and assists once in a blue moon. Can fill in at left-back, if found to be completely useless at left midfield.

Pedigree – Declined from being one of England’s bright young talents at Middlesbrough and Aston Villa to a joke at Liverpool.

Do we need him? – A decent left sided squad player. We have enough of those, in Gibbs, Santos and Podolski. So, maybe no.

Probability of Happening – Nil. If we buy him, then there would be a protest march at the Emirates for sure.


12) Mario Gotze (Age – 20)

Current Club – Borussia Dortmund

Rumour Rating – Medium. Crazy rumors had indicated that Arsenal had already signed him. But, the story was completely different as he extended his contract at Dortmund.

Attributes – Potentially world class. Highly technical. Can create chances and take them as well. An attacking midfielder, he has been used at wings occasionally.

Pedigree – Very strong across Europe. All top clubs have had him on his radar for quite some time.

Do we need him? – Why not? Would be a fantastic addition, though comes a bit costly, valued at around £30 million. Would add more flair, and creativity in midfield.

Probability of Happening – Weak. Arsenal rarely go for players with such massive transfer tags. Wenger would prefer going for someone a bit cheaper, but probably with the same level of talent.


13) Remy Cabella (Age – 22)

Current Club – Montpellier

Rumour Rating – Medium. Highly rated by Robert Pires, and has since been linked with top clubs with his impressive performances in the French league and Montpellier’s doomed Champions League adventure.

Attributes – Tricky customer. Quick, great close control. More like a Spanish midfielder.

Pedigree – Improving. He has been noted for his performances in Europe so far, and been marked out as a permanent fixture in the France national side for the future.

Do we need him? – If Walcott leaves, then Cabella would be a good enough replacement for the Englishman. May need some time to settle into the English league though.

Probability of Happening – Weak to Medium. Knowing Arsene’s love for short, technical and French players, Cabella may well be coming to Arsenal, but with the pressure of buying established stars may force the manager to back out.


14) Hatem Ben Arfa (Age – 25)

Current Club – Newcastle United

Rumour Rating – Medium. Rumours have died down since they were all over in August-September.

Attributes – A bright young talent, with pace to burn on the wings. Scores spectacular goals occasionally. Has had disciplinary issues in the past. Has had scuffles with Diaby and Squillaci in the past.

Pedigree – Curvy. Has never put a consistent run together, but is capable of something special.

Do we need him? – Not really. Consistency and discipline are the key words, and Ben Arfa lacks both.

Probability of Happening – Weak to Medium. Looks out of place at Newcastle, and could probably be eyeing a move to a top club.


15) Luis Nani (Age – 26)

Current Club – Manchester United

Rumour Rating – Medium. Linked after reportedly falling out with Alex Ferguson. Was pictured outside Watford’s training ground, to attend his son’s football match, but blown out of proportion by the media, who reported it as Arsenal’s training ground.

Attributes – Pacy, tricky winger with good crossing ability. On his day, can beat any defender. Scores some goals as well. Fantastic celebration. Arrogant prick of the first order.

Pedigree – Curvy. Has never been consistent enough, despite the tag of being a left sided Cristiano Ronaldo, when he first arrived at United.

Do we need him? – Maybe we do, but please, no more cunts!

Probability of Happening – Weak. Can’t really picture him in an Arsenal shirt.


16) Isco (Age – 20)

Current Club – Malaga

Rumour Rating – Medium. His stellar performances for Malaga in the league as well as in Europe have attracted attention from all over Europe.

Attributes – A fine attacking midfielder, with an eye for a pass. Scores some goals as well, and highly rated by Spanish youth coaches.

Pedigree – Pretty Good. Is the holder of the Golden Boy Award, an award won by no-hopers like van der Vaart, Rooney, Messi, Fabregas, Aguero, Gotze to name a few.

Do we need him? – Would be a great signing, but the problem would be accommodating him in an already crowded midfield

Probability of Happening – Weak. We are really looking for a defensive midfielder at the moment.


17) Lucas Biglia (Age – 26)

Current Club – Anderlecht

Rumour Rating – Medium. Has been linked for over a year now, with reports surfacing now and then, especially when Arsenal’s defensive midfield problems are under scrutiny.

Attributes – Argentine international. Has good European experience with Anderlecht of Belgium. A disciplined defensive midfielder.

Pedigree – Good. One of the best players in the Belgian league. A move to a bigger league would help showcase his talents.

Do we need him? – Would be a great signing, and most definitely be a step towards solving our defensive midfield problems.

Probability of Happening – Medium.



18) Wilfried Zaha (Age – 20)

Current Club – Crystal Palace

Rumour Rating – Strong. Has been linked for quite some time, and Arsenal seem closest to snapping up the youngster.

Attributes – Bags of pace. Raw, but skillful and can trouble any defender on his day.

Pedigree – Reasonably good. Was voted the Football League’s Young Player of the Year in 2012. Earned his first cap recently, in a friendly against Sweden.

Do we need him? – Not really, considering we have Chamberlain, and Miyachi coming through. The hope is still that Walcott will sign a new contract.

Probability of Happening – Medium. Arsene Wenger is an admirer, and he has recently taken a liking to young English talents. Could very well be happening.


***************************************SPOILER ALERT – NOT HAPPENING!********************************************

19) Klaas Jan Huntelaar  (Age – 29)

Current Club – Schalke 04

Rumour Rating – Strong. Very very strong. Arsenal and Liverpool remain the only two clubs his agent claims want to sign the experienced Dutch international. Some German reports, who first reported the Podolski deal claim this one is as good as done.

Attributes – Finishing, finishing and er, finishing. A brilliant goal poacher, who knows where the back of the net lies like I know the back of my pc when I am browsing for porn.

Pedigree – Strong. Has played for some top clubs like Ajax, Real Madrid, Milan and Schalke. Basically, the strongest leagues in Europe. The Premier League remains unchartered territory. Scored 48 goals last season.

Do we need him? – Yes please. We are still a striker short of having a strong strike force. Moreover, we can have our own Dutch goal machine.

Probability of Happening – Very high. If reports are to be believed, the player wants to play in the Champions League, and Arsenal should suit the bill perfectly. Would be available for as little as £5 million in January, or as a free at the end of the season.



20) Edin Dzeko (Age – 26)

Current Club – Manchester City

Rumour Rating – Medium. Was linked during the van Cunty saga, when City had offered the Bosnian plus cash for van Cunty. Rumours have started recirculating since Dzeko has not been hold on to a first team place.

Attributes – The definition of a supersub. Never scores when he starts, never starts when he scores. For some strange reason, doesn’t start games too well, but loves taking on defenders while coming late on. Without his late goals, City would be languishing in mid-table this season.

Pedigree – Good. A known goal scorer in the Bundesliga and in the Premier League.

Do we need him? – Maybe. If Wenger can somehow work his magic and make him score when he starts, would be a great signing. But, looks like a player similar to Giroud.

Probability of Happening – Low. City know the value of having him on the bench. Wenger may be looking for a different type of striker as well.


21) Fernando Llorente (Age – 27)

Current Club – Athletic Bilbao

Rumour Rating – Medium. Has been linked to several clubs for a couple of years now.

Attributes – A goal scorer. Has been integrated into the Spanish style of play at Bilbao and with Spain.

Pedigree – Good. One of the best strikers in the Spanish League, and highly revered by Bilbao fans.

Do we need him? – Probably. Considering his goal scoring record, we may well sign him. Again, like Dzeko, too similar to Giroud.

Probability of Happening – Medium. May take some time to suit to the Premier League.


22) Edinson Cavani (Age – 25)

Current Club – Napoli

Rumour Rating – Medium. Has been linked with top clubs all over Europe.

Attributes – Loves scoring goals. A hard working player, who has a ferocious shot. Can comjure the sublime with the outrageous.

Pedigree – Strong. Feared all over the Serie A. Scored 66 goals in the last two seasons.

Do we need him? – Yes please. Would be one of the biggest signings the club will make, if he signs. A real marquee signing.

Probability of Happening – Low to Medium. He may well come to the Premier League, but his asking price may be a bit too much for Arsenal to shell out.


23) Adrian Lopez (Age – 24)

Current Club – Atletico Madrid

Rumour Rating – Medium.

Attributes – Not an out and out goal scorer, but a good support striker. A false 9, if you like.

Pedigree – Reasonable. Has been overshadowed by a certain Radamel Falcao at club level. Scored 19 goals in all competitions last season.

Do we need him? – Yes. Would be a good option up front.

Probability of Happening – Medium


24) Demba Ba (Age – 27)

Current Club – Newcastle United

Rumour Rating – Weak to Medium. Has been wanting away from Newcastle in recent times.

Attributes – Strong physical striker, who has taken to the Premier League like a fish to water. Can score from, everywhere on the pitch. Known to be temperamental.

Pedigree – Good. A known goal scorer in the Premier League.

Do we need him? – Mixed views on this. No doubts about his talent, but whether he will suit Arsenal’s style of play.

Probability of Happening – Medium. Not really Arsenal material.


25) David Villa (Age – 31)

Current Club – Barcelona

Rumour Rating – Weak to Medium. His lack of chances at Barcelona in recent times have been the catalyst for such rumors.

Attributes – Short quick striker, with a penchant for scoring goals. Goals. Many of them. Abundance. A lot of it.

Pedigree – Good. One of the most lethal strikers in Europe, a couple of seasons back, but suffered an injury which kept him out for an entire season. Has lost his place in the team since.

Do we need him? – Mixed views on this. No doubts about his talent, but whether he will suit Arsenal’s style of play.

Probability of Happening – Low. Can’t really see Arsene splashing £12 million for a 31 year old.


Jai Arsenal 🙂


The Sportskeeda Blogger of the Year Award 2012 is here. Sportskeeda is one of the fastest growing Indian sports networks, with a global reach. It’s nomination time in the competition, and I’d be extremely happy and honored, if you, my esteemed reader, nominate my blog under the ‘Club Fan Site’ category.

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About supreetkini

I would like to introduce myself starting with my favourite quote "I don't know whether life is sh*t cos Arsenal is sh*t or the other way round" - Nick Hornby, author, Fever Pitch. Since I started supporting Arsenal, every mood of mine, every bit of my behavior is a reflection of Arsenal's form! Well, that's enough a description to tell you how much I love the Gunners! :D I have my own Arsenal blog,

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