Ignore All The False Rumours, Here Are Some Realistic Arsenal Signings!

It appears the sarcasm from my last post was lost on some people and with Arsenal “linked” to players like Wayne Rooney, Gonzalo Higuain, Stevan Jovetic, Ashley Williams, Marouane Fellaini and even ex-captain Cesc Fabregas, I started to think about which players Arsenal should sign.

Most (if not all) of the above are all paper talk, putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5, because we all should know by now Arsene Wenger likes keeping his transfer dealings top secret. How many people knew we were going to bring in Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud well before they signed? Exactly. No-one can predict who will be arriving at Arsenal well in advance of it happening, it’s just not the Arsenal way.

The Wayne Rooney “transfer” makes me laugh as Arsene knows exactly how the media works and it is obviously a plot to divert attention away from who Arsenal are actually trying to sign.

Instead of linking the obvious targets to the new “free-spending” Arsenal, it would be better to identify what specific areas of the pitch need strengthening and who is best to fill that void.

So what are Arsenal’s weaknesses?

Central Defence

Last season, it is well-documented that we had the second best defensive record in the Premier League. Some of that was down to dropping the captain and keeping the combination of Mertesacker and Koscielny in the middle, and some of it was down to a greater team emphasis on better defending.

But apart from Mertesacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen, our centre-back options are limited. Most of the top teams have at least 4 quality defenders that can be called upon during the season. We struggled in the cup competitions so rotating the defense (effectively) is something worth looking at. Manchester United have Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling, Johnny Evans, Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic who they can call on, Chelsea have Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, Gary Cahill and John Terry and Manchester City have Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastatic, Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards. The key that the teams above us have is a selection of central defenders that can also play in other positions.

Smalling, Jones, Ivanovic, Luiz and Richards can either play as a full back or even midfield if required. A central defender that is versatile would be perfect for strengthening our squad.

Possible Candidates?

So who could fill that void?

With Gibbs and Monreal in the squad, the left-back position is well catered for (and considering Vermaelen can play there too) so a central defender that can also play right-back would be a fantastic addition to the squad.

The player would need to be young, relatively inexpensive and able to play in several positions.

So how about Dejan Lovren?

He’s only 23, was highly rated a few seasons ago and more importantly comes from the French League, almost a requirement for an Arsene Wenger signing. He currently players for Lyon and as well as being able to play in his main position of centre-back, he can also play as right or left back as required.

With Sagna looking more likely to leave Arsenal in the summer, a central defender that can play as right back would be useful, to give Carl Jenkinson some competition on the right.

A Ruthless Finisher

It is well reported that with the absence of Robin van Persie, the goals have been shared around the team, with Cazorla, Theo, Giroud and Podolski all into double figures for the season.

But in tight games (especially those with the Top 6 clubs) where we have struggled to score, a Van Persie would have been useful this season.

So who could be that signing?

If you look at realistic options, then we could be looking at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He plays for St-Etienne and is a tall, powerful striker who was the second top scorer in Ligue 1 last season. He’s only 23 years old and that would give us time to settle him into London life while he finds his feet – and this is fine as we aren’t looking to immediately replace Grioud or Podolski – Aubameyang could easily be used alongside them in a rotation system which would keep all of them happy, and give us the chance not to over-use Giroud like we did last season.

Most of the top teams have 3/4 strikers now and with another finisher it would at least give opposing teams something else to think about if Plan A isn’t working.

Midfield Cover

With Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere struggling with injuries in the last campaign, they unfortunately cannot be replied upon next season. We have Mikel Arteta (who at times badly needed resting last year) and Aaron Ramsey as our only real true midfielders. We have Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla who can both play a more deeper role if required but ideally they would be playing further up the pitch.

So who could be bring in?

With Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla already at Arsenal, it would be useful if we had someone from Spain in the middle of the park alongside them. So based on that theory, how about Benat Etxebarria?

He’s Spanish, a decent age (26 years old) and favours the defensive midfield position. The current Real Betis player has a superb range of passing, is skilful on the ball and has an eye for a good tackle.


So there you have it, some realistic transfer targets, based on Arsene’s previous transfer dealings ever since he came to Arsenal.

The big money buys like Rooney and Higuain are just not realistic. If you look at the vast majority of signings Arsene Wenger has ever made; Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Emmanuel Petit, Nwankwo Kanu, Alexander Hleb, Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud, et al, then you will realise he never goes for proven class. He likes to take talented players with potential and give them that extra push to be world class. Players like Henry, Vieira and Pires were all very good players when they arrived at Arsenal, but it was only with us where they became truly world class footballers.

And Dejan Lovren, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Benat Etxebarria are all realistic signings. They’re all around the same age, have experience in the French league or have Spanish connections, and wouldn’t be extortionate prices. Arsene may have a war chest at his disposal but he will never in a million years waste it all on one or two players. Ever since he joined Arsenal it’s all been about value for money. And the signings (on the face of it) wouldn’t be the kind where Arsenal fans would be jumping around for joy (hand on heart, how many Arsene signings have you really been excited about?) and it would only be later on when they showed their class for Arsenal when you would realise Arsene has made an inspired purchase.

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50 thoughts on “Ignore All The False Rumours, Here Are Some Realistic Arsenal Signings!

  1. Well thought out and rational post and i can really see the logic behind all of your picks.
    However………as much as i rate all of the above, from the little i have seen of them, would they really push this squad on to where we need to be?
    When you look at our results over the past couple of seasons, our form against the other big teams is dreadful in general.
    We need to add some big game players, Players that can make a difference against united, city and chelsea and take the overall quality of the sqaud to the next level.
    just my opinion

  2. Well put…Sad but true..
    But we live in hope that this year it will be different from the norm.
    ” and Arsenal break there 49 match unbeaten run, winning the league, FA cup and champions league”… what a lovely dream lol.

  3. Thx for you thinking of the mater “Arsene splash cash or will he” . HAHA well i like you thoughts on this mater and in general I agree. But the thing is that we havent had silver sence 2005 and last seasons havent been all that greight. Bottom line WE need 3 world class signings to counter united, chelsea and man city and now tottenham are pushing for topp battle aswell. So that said i think this year signings we will se 1-2 world class signings in the mix of what you just said “potantials” thx sry for typos 🙂

  4. good article,but aren’t realistic.
    it ur imaginary article or ur thoughts.

    however…the first thing is very correct arsenal do need a versatile defender,i’ve been saying this.that means if such player joins arsenal he can play as cb n rb.
    n dejan lovren is a good scouting.

    second u picked aubameyang, i doubt he can be that poacher arsenal need, looking at the troubles ligue1 player have adjusting to life in england.
    higuan is ideal, but aubameyang would be a good back up..in case if wenger fails to land higuan or jovetic.
    again a good pick.

    third benat, i don’t think he’s any different to arteta.infact arteta is better coz la liga is not as physical as english league.
    gonalons,capuou n wanyama are better n within arsenal’s reach.

    moreover benat doesn’t provide the physical presence n aerial ability which arsenal lack.

    gonalons is the cheapest dm wenger can get with best qualities….

  5. Very good post very rational and refreshing.
    Ur suggest signings are good but these are the kind of players Wenger wld buy if we were skint. I believe he will make at least 1 big name signing one that will probably shock most of us. He needs to show real intent and appease us long suffering fans. Un fortunately we will probably have to wait until after we qualify for the CL proper (a formality one wld pressume) before we get that big player! This is our season though we are the only top 6 team that is actually stable, the 3 teams above us all have managerial changes how many managers have won the PL on their debut season? The teams below us will lose big players like bale and surez. We will not lose anyone significant this time rnd. We have a settled team and strong manager what more cld u ask for?

  6. Nice article, really. But I beg to differ, because AW will want to do something to get a silverware, after so much drought

  7. Good article, fine comments, diabolical grammar and spelling. We’re a Premier level team with fans that are killing basic English. US Republicans may be the “party of stupid” but Arsenal fans should rise to a better level.

  8. this players are not top class playes ,i think the fans want top-class players not more average players , i know we never saw big money signings in the team but i think this year we have the money to spend.

    if we want to compete with manchester teams and chelski we have to buy real top players benat is a good player for me but i think aubameyang is not better than giroud

  9. All dis u re typin is it getting to him?cos I see no reason y we should b wasting our time on wat has nt apen.let’s leave him n he shud do his job.

  10. Well said but not its not what aresenal fans really want.
    Just spend the cash on 3 proven players.
    Even Bruce Ricoh got Berkamp and he was the worst manager ever.

  11. Anyway, decent article. The signings are the kind Arsene would make and something you missed is that he likes to sign players that still have something to prove. By buying players who aren’t yet “world class yet” as you put it, and haven’t won it all, they generally have more hunger to win things. You have that with players such as Koscielny and Arteta.

  12. REAL GUNNER is asking how many managers have won the EPL in their debut season?

    a) Alex (red nose) Fergie: Its strange that Fergie won it in his debut EPL year but after 8 years at ManU cos EPL was created in 1992-3 but Fergie joined united in 1986
    b) Arsene (Prof) Wengr (second season)
    c) Jose (special uno) Mourinho (first season)
    d) Carlo Ancelotti (first season)
    e) Sparky ????
    F) Kenny Dalglish (4th season)
    g) Robert Mancini (3rd season / 2nd full season)
    h) Harry Redkpan ???
    I) Fat Sam ???
    j) Kevin Keegan (Almost won it in his 3rd season but Fergie got the better of Him)

  13. I think we MUST make a statement in this summer.. And we have the resources now, so why not Rooney and Fellain? Arsenal fc is a huge club and.we Must think Big

  14. It was well known we were getting podolski, and cazorla n giroud was pretty much known by the media before they were signed too – so u saying knowing knew is wrong!

  15. Well about some player suggestions people will always argue as they all know it better making judgement, most of the commenters having never seen the players anyway. yes of course there are a few more talents reachable, but the statements or conclusions within the article are absolutely right. To expect “must think BIG” is just rubbish, AW does so but in a different way. Getting the talents and some of them become worldclass is indeed “thinking big”, although in a different sense.
    I would be satisfied with 3 max 4 reinforcements that fit within the team, the team atmosphere and believe me, cocky primaballerinas that move on once next club offers higher wages is the last thing we need.

  16. While your suggested options are realistic they are not the type of players that can drive the club forward. Aubameyang is a back up, lovren simply not hood enough and the other player isnt arsenal quality. Why arent we looking at the 6million remy? Despite his recent troubles he will still be a wuality signing. IMO we should get remy, michu, wanyama, grenier and williams. I also think its worth looking at the 8 million nani

  17. Thanks for all the responses, to address a few points:

    @ Abdul

    I merely stated that in central defence we don’t have enough cover. Injuries to both Mertesacker and Koscielny and we’re in big trouble. All the big teams have at least 4 central defenders they can call on.

    @ Howard

    My sincerest apologies, I’ll be sure to educate myself better so you can understand my broken English.

    @ James

    They may not be world class but that is my point, will Arsene sign top top quality (and pay the price tag and wages to go along with it) if he’s not 100% confident he can win the league? If we spent huge money on world class players and still finished 3rd/4th then in his eyes, we would have wasted the money and taken a step backwards.

    @ GunnerForLife

    Arsene has shown throughout his 16 year reign at the club he likes to mould top class players. He doesn’t like egos who break the wage structure and unsettle the dressing room, and more importantly doesn’t like players that will speak back or voice an opinion (such as Rooney or Balotelli for instance). I would have recommended Remy myself before his troubles as he looks like a decent player but it’s probably unlikely now.

  18. Arsenal may well have £70 million to spend on transfers/wages. Arsene’s problem is that however much he tries to sell the club to these stellar players, they don’t see arsenal as a big club with ambition. It seems a prolonged period with no trophies is likely to influence such players to see arsenal as a second best option. It is much more important for the money to be spent on players who will strengthen the squad and sort out its deficiencies. Be realistic gooners all this newspaper talk is just talk.

  19. Although I basically agree with you article, I feel you have missed a few of points
    1) I still think we need an experienced reliable goalkeeper and Julio Cesar would be ideal
    2) Of the central defenders to sign, I would like to see us get Williams from Swansea
    3) With regards to the midfielders we already have, you have not mentioned The Ox who has said that is where he prefers to play and I really think that is his future
    4) For a striker, also from QPR, a possibility is to get Remy. A typical Wenger signing, for a start French, he could be signed quite cheaply, but he has a touch of Thierry Henry about him and could develop in the same way.

  20. Like some people have said, refreshing article compared to some of the ridiculous ones ive seen recently in regards to who we might be signing. I agree with one of your choices, Lovren, i think he would be a great signing for Arsenal and would like to see that happen. I do not think Aubameyang would be a good enough signing for us even if it is realistic. I also do not think he would come that cheap due to his goalscoring exploits last season and Saint Etienne’s reluctance to sell. Benat, whilst a very good player is, like someone else mentioned, in my opinion to similar to Arteta. We need a midfield enforcer like Wanyama (which is a very realistic signing). I do not see Higuain as that unrealistic of a signing depending on just what Real want for him and he is a proven goalscorer, albeit in la Liga. I personally would like to see another option for the right wing as i do not have faith in Walcott to produce consistently good performances, he is to sporadic. Someone that can cross the ball would be good. A back up keep (cesar) is a must. I guess we will have to wait and see.

  21. @ Booodz

    Indeed, you are correct. My brain capacity is fairly limited so I did forget about how early the Polodski signing was 🙂

    @ adrian

    Well that was another reason I suggested the players I did – unless players can be certain that we will be challenging for the top honours next season, then their only motivation for signing with us would be their weekly wages.

    In a perfect world Arsene would use this summer to sign some really top level talent but I just don’t think he will do it, partly because he knows they will have over-inflated prices but also when he has bought “proven” talent like Arshavin, he’s had his fingers burnt.

    @ clockendjim

    Cesar and Remy would be good additions to the squad, but I’m not sure what they’re getting paid at QPR but I’d have a feeling it would be stupid wages!

    @ Ben

    The names I picked out were based on how Arsene behaves in the transfer market. I just can’t see him splashing out on big names so those players seem realistic to me. Wanyama is possible as he isn’t a big name or ego yet, and Higuain I’m not sure about. Wenger doesn’t like superstars and he is the kind of player who isn’t quite there so it’s possible, although it looks extremely likely he’s off to Juventus anyway.

  22. Its alrigh Mike, you dont have to justify to me, we all have our opinions and are very welcome to them. I agree when you say Wenger doesnt like signing superstars i just think this year MAY be a little different as he knows that 8 years without a trophy is getting too long now and he may have to go a different route to what he normally does. I certainly wouldnt be surprsed if we dont get Higuain of course, i just feel he is a definite possibility. Rooney however is not. That would be a ridiculous signing considering how much he would want in wages and i just dont see him as an Arsenal player. Grenier from Lyon could be a possibility, or Capoue perhaps. We do need another top level striker to ease the burden, a proven goalscorer not another prospect!

  23. @ Ben

    Getting rid of Denilson, Squillaci and Arshavin is a massive move forwards and releases vital funds towards wages for players who actually make a contribution to the team. We just need to offload Park, Chamakh and Bendter and we’d be set.

    I agree with you that this summer seems to feel a bit different and there’s a possibility of getting some real quality but there’s a part of me that thinks (unless there’s some outside influence) then Arsene will just do more of the same. I can just hear him now talking about “killing” players like Ramsey and Diaby, as well as only wanting to spend money on “super quality” players. Then there’s the obvious joke of how the hell did Gervinho and Chamakh end up in that category!

  24. Twice now my reply has disappeared after forgetting to input the code lol

    Yes i agree, those 6 players all needed or need to go, they contribute a minmal amount at best to the squad.

    Wenger needs to realise Diaby is not going to be the player he wants or thinks he can be, too injury prone now unfortunately. I think Wanyama would be a great signing for us, very similar to Vieira in some ways. A new right winger would be great to back up walcott but i doubt that will happen.

    I dont rate Gervinho and would be happy to see him go, and i wouldnt mind him being replaced by a prospect. I think Serge Gnabry needs to be given a chance this coming season, and Thomas Eisfield, bring them in gradually but start using them or they will go the way as other promising players of recent times and be let go.

    Then again im just an armchair manager so what do i know lol

  25. @Mike/afc4life

    Good post, though I happen to disagree with your suggestions 🙂

    One point though, to you, and to bloggers more widely. Please don’t keep contributing to disinformation… get the facts right:

    “as well as only wanting to spend money on “super quality” players. Then there’s the obvious joke of how the hell did Gervinho and Chamakh end up in that category! ”

    Chamack was signed on a free, one year after Bordeaux asked £15m for him, which AW wouldn’t pay… time proved him right, although we also saw why AW had signed him at all, in those first dozen or so matches…he has ability, but was never settled and confident. I don’t think he was ever signed as a first choice striker. I’d wish him well at £2-3m to anyone who’ll take him – he’ll do fine back in Lique 1 or a midtable German team.

    Gervinho, on the other hand, you’re bang to rights on…

    I think this year is different, and my opinion is that we should expect 2 big signings at £20m plus, and 2 or 3 lower profile ones. I expect the big signings to be a forward and mid, with a GK and a utility defensive player, coming at less money and with less fanfare. The 5th? dunno….

  26. @ Ben

    Diaby is a fantastic player (as he showed in the first few games of the season) and adds a lot to the team, but is far to injury prone. It is a shame what’s happened to him but we’ve had him for a long time now and there comes a point where we have to let him go.

    @ SammyNelsonsPants

    I do know that Chamakh was on a free (after we had a lot of low bids turned down the summer before) but I when I was talking about spending money on these kind of players I also meant wages too. Because he came on a free, his wages are far more than he’s worth, and far more than he should be getting considering the contribution (or lack of) he’s making to the team.

    The Arsenal squads have been getting progressively worse over the last 4/5 seasons, so this would be the right time for Arsene to spend big and bring in 3/4 really top quality players, but we’ll have to wait and see whether that materialises.

  27. are you all so easily fooled? the talk of 70 million is just same old smoke screen to appease supporters,when push comes to shove all arsenal will sign are a few young players with potential ,and a couple of panic buys overrated hasbeens,wenger’s ego too big to risk on trying to win trophies ,he would rather stand on morale high ground that arsenal live within their means .

  28. Thnks gunnerpete. Well rumours stated that rooney is coming to play with jack. He’s good as a supporting striker. If he does come i hope he score more goals than persie next season. Thats awesome. Yeah get shaw too. Hoping for new invincibles.

  29. Good article, totally agree that we will not splash £70m on a couple of players, its just not how Wenger does it,

    In my opinion, we continuously have numerous talents emerging from the academies only to be held back by ‘squad players’ picking up a large salary for nothing. It seems Wenger has realised this and a number are going/already gone. First, he needs to assess what is needed and if the academies can contribute in the near future. If not, he will buy sensibly for the best deal.

    I personally think taking a punt on David Villa would be a master stroke, as he has the big game experience needed, is a clinical finisher and will adapt to AFC and the BPL more easily than most, and could be available for £10m even if only useful for the next 2 seasons. Also, I would buy a CB, Ashley Williams would be fantastic, but Lovern or similar if opting for youth, so we have 4 decent CB’s. I would also shift Vermaelen into the CDM role to see how he copes, although the possibility of getting Felliani is remarkable. Would love to see us get goretzka he is absolute quality! Cesar in goal would only be as a mentor for Szczesny so I’m not sure about that. As for youth signings, Crowley looks v impressive, Sangono looks decent but can he transform talent into quality?

  30. it wouldn’t matter which players sign ,the board or manager do not prioritize a winning mentality, did bradford or blackburn have better players last year ,or just a better camaraderie and willingness to compete and play for their team rather than their wages

  31. although they may prove not to be the signings we make(if we do!) the theory is spot on and well thought out.

    excellent post, I enjoyed reading it

  32. @ Luke

    I can’t see David Villa happening, and I’m not sure if he’s the right age for Arsene and how his recent injury record is. It would just be our luck if he got crocked again playing for us!

    Vermaelen in the defensive midfield role is something I’ve wanted to see as well, as he seems to have the right attributes to do well there (similar to David Luiz). I can’t see why Arsene hasn’t tried that yet, especially when we’ve had injuries to Arteta, Wilshere and Diaby throughout the season.

    @ gary

    I do agree with you in parts but Wenger’s whole philosophy is about putting faith in his players and on quite a few times he’s been let down by the usual suspects. Hopefully getting rid of the dead wood this summer will be a step towards sorting that out as there are a few players in the squad with a winning mentality.

  33. I don’t think you are actually right that Wenger never buys big. I am aware that people have told themselves that over the last 5 years and I do know that our manager is excellent at buying cheap. But your assertion that he never spends the big money on established players is, in my opinion, wrong.

    Wenger spend £30m on Reyes, and did spend around £15m on each of Arshavin, Wiltord, Nasri, Henry and Carzola.

  34. @ Andreas

    I’m not sure where you got £30 milion for Reyes, he was £16 million (up to £17.5 million depending on appearances).

    When most people think “spending big” it’s usually over the £20 million mark for a single player which is something we have never done before.

  35. @mike as supporters we enjoy watching arsenal to win,but winning is secondary to many of the current players and the board,this morning’s reports claim arsenal are suddenly reluctant to trigger felliani transfer clause,either wenger wants him or he doesn’t ,another summer of poor bargin basement buys and winter of discontent methinks.

  36. Hold the phone for a second Andreas, Reyes £30m? Just a minute…. checking with …. various sources….on line….and across the office

    Me: hey Buddy…. how much did Reyes cost Arsenal?
    Buddy: Who?
    Me: Reyes!!!
    Buddy: Gervais?
    Me: NO REYES!! the homesick Spanish guy not Gervinho…. never mind..

    Checking on line again……. Got it! .. Jose Antonio Reyes cost 10.5million from Sevilla in 2003 source: http://www.arsenalreport.com/transfercentre/

    And for Emphasis:
    Henry: £10.5m
    Carzola: £11.9m
    way down there are Vieira:£3.5 Fabregas: £2.8m ,RVP :£2.7m and Anelka £0.5m Now lets add Kolo Toure for £0.15m and Sol Campbell for free TWICE!! and people wonder why Arsene is a bargain hunter. You got your answer right here!
    Pls go to http://www.arsenalreport.com/transfercentre/ for more!
    You can thank me when you return from the above address.

  37. sorry mike but the men in the boardroom are not supporters of arsenal in the conventional sense, like the man on the terrace,they are money men,who did gazidis support as a boy? he”s all talk now,but once transfer window opens ,he will soon go quiet,felliani will join man utd,higuain sign for chelsea,ashley williams will go to liverpool,but they will sign cesar on a free and claim they don’t need new players because diaby will be back by march.!


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