The January transfer window has not been Wenger’s favored shopping season of the year, and he has not really had the desperate need to sign a player in previous winter windows. But this window, it’s simply inevitable. Thankfully, he has admitted the need to strengthen the team in weak departments, especially in defence and the holding midfield. We hear it’s only £20m allocated, but who are the players he could sign with that in January?
- Winston Reid
The 26-year old West Ham defender has been one of Sam Allardyce’s most impressive players this season and has been linked with a move to the Gunners over the past weeks. Wenger has confirmed his intention to reinforce his team in defence having seen a host of first choice defenders become unavailable due to injuries. Reid has enough Premier League experience to thrive in North London, and will not need to find his way to adapt to a new culture or language like a foreign student would.
- Morgan Schneiderlin
Forget Sami Khedira, Morgan’s the man. He is the PERFECT modern-day midfielder, the one Wenger would have to do anything to bring in this winter. Schneiderlin has shown why Southampton were so desperate to keep him in the summer, having witnessed the exodus of so many of their star players last season. Going by the performances of those players who left the St. Mary’s for supposed bigger clubs, you would say Schneiderlin has had the better season till now. Playing in the shadows of the Lamberts and Lallanas, we probably didn’t know just how much of a general Schneiderlin is in midfield and it does seem he has overcome the desire to move on in the summer. Still, Wenger must still tempt him with the lure of Champions League football in January as well testing the Saints resolve to keep him. He may still bear a secret desire to make that big move and having been prevented from joining Tottenham, Wenger could make an inviting offer to him. One thing’s for certain, Schneiderlin will walk straight into the Arsenal team at the moment and indeed any Premier League team, besides maybe Matic.
But Schneiderlin is even better than the Chelsea midfield man. He has shown the excellent technical aspect of the game which has seen him hit the back of the net three times in the League with sumptuous strikes. Schneiderlin possesses a physical presence which Arsenal clearly lacks in midfield, dependability on the ball which Arteta has stopped showing, a toughness which Flamini has shown he never really had. He’s only 24 and maybe in lowly Southampton now, but if we don’t move for him this winter, Bayern, Barcelona or Real Madrid won’t let him pass.
He’s so good he alone may end up gulping all of the transfer money – so be it.
- Virgil van Dijk
In the situation where we do not convince Winston Reid that North is the best part of London, Celtic’s van Dijk must be the other defensive option we turn to in January. He is younger than Reid by three years and maybe still has to prove he has the ability to cut it at a top club but van Dijk has played a part in good moments against Barcelona and AC Milan in the Champions League. He does have the potential to become as good as any defender with the right coaching and Wenger can do just that. They say he would be available for £8m, that’s a good price too.
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