Sunday 18 February 2018

11 players Arsenal can buy in the summer to avoid another collapse

Atletico Madrid's Brazilian forward Diego Costa is Jose Mourinho's main transfer target at Chelsea
Atletico Madrid's Brazilian forward Diego Costa is Jose Mourinho's main transfer target at Chelsea

The renaissance had been remarkable at Arsenal, from clinching a top four place on the final day of last season at the expense of their rivals to topping the Premier League for the first half of this campaign.

The recent collapse though, has been even more extraordinary with a total of 20 goals conceded against the other sides in the top five as their title hopes faded.

The likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski have suffered long spells on the sidelines as Arsenal once again suffered injuries to key players at the wrong time.

Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen and Nicklas Bendtner are all set to depart the Emirates this summer with Arsene Wenger's squad already short in a number of positions.

The board and the manager may not be forgiven for missing another opportunity to address a number of issues during the summer transfer window.

Here, we guide you through the players that could ensure Arsenal don't collapse yet again next season...

1. Michy Batshuayi

The Standard Liege star has already stated that he expects to leave at the end of the season, preferring to move to either England or Germany and recently admitting that Arsenal are his favourite team. The 20-year-old striker is the top scorer in the Belgian league this season. Batshuayi can also operate on the wing and has been linked with Everton and Napoli. Arsenal are said to be willing to pay his release clause, which is understood to be £6.5m.

2. Alvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata.jpg
Arsenal have already shown interest in Real Madrid youngster Alvaro Morata

Arsenal have already agreed personal terms with the 21-year-old, according to reports in Spain, but must still convince Real Madrid to sell the highly-rated striker. A summer move could cost the Gunners in excess of £15m with the La Liga giants unlikely to settle for a loan deal. Morata has been a regular on the bench this season with opportunities next year likely to be limited too with Sergio Aguero a rumoured target for Real.

3. Julian Draxler

Julian Draxler of Schalke controls the ball

A move during the January transfer window failed to materialise over Draxler's £37m release clause with Arsenal unwilling to pay the hefty fee, according to Schalke's sporting director. The German international was also said to be a target for Bayern Munich in case Toni Kroos failed to sign a new deal with the Bundesliga champions. However, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has ruled out a summer move for the highly-rated 20-year-old. Arsenal will have to change their stance over the transfer fee to acquire the attacker with several big clubs interested.

4. Antoine Griezmann

Arsene Wenger has publicly confirmed his interest in the Real Sociedad attacker, admitting that Arsenal had been 'following Antoine Griezmann for a long time'. 15 goals in La Liga this season has attracted interest from a host of clubs whilst his excellent form earned him a call-up to the France squad for the first time recently against the Netherlands.

5. Serge Aurier

Toulouse right-back Aurier has described a move to Arsenal as 'a dream' but Chelsea and Newcastle United are also tracking the 21-year-old. The French defender has six goals and six assists so far this season. The Gunners are scouting right-backs across Europe with the future of Bacary Sagna still uncertain. Should Sagna depart on a free in the summer, expect the Gunners to replace the former Auxerre star with another talent from Ligue 1.

6. Josip Drmic

Arsenal have been linked with the Nurnberg striker recently after Lothar Matthaus claimed on Sky Germany that the Gunners had already signed the 21-year-old. Wenger is said to be keen to bring in the Swiss striker before the World Cup this summer. Drmic is a wanted man after scoring 16 goals in the Bundesliga this season despite his club battling against relegation. Drmic, who has three-years left on his current deal, is reported to have a release clause of less than £5m. Only Bayern Munich star Mario Mandzukic, Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski and Hertha Berlin striker Adrian Ramos have scored more league goals than Drmic this season.

7. Calum Chambers

The Gunners may once again sign a talented youngster from Southampton to follow in the footsteps of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Chambers has been impressive in his 22 appearances for the Saints this term with Manchester United said to have taken notice too. The 19-year-old signed a new four-year contract with Mauricio Pochettino's side last July. A fee of £10m could tempt Southampton at the end of the season.

8. Sebastian Jung

Eintracht Frankfurt defender Jung has been monitored by Arsenal this season. The 23-year-old has been one of their best players this season as the Bundesliga side recovered from a bad start to move clear of the relegation battle once they were eliminated from the Europa League. The German could be available for a fee in the region of £2m but the Gunners may face competition from Wolfsburg.

9. Mario Mandzukic

TMario Mandzukic and team mate David Alaba celebrate Bayern's opening goal

Arsenal and Chelsea representatives are understood to have already met with the Bayern Munich striker's agent over a summer move but the Bundesliga champions are keen for the Croatian striker to stay despite the signing of Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund. Mandzukic has scored 17 league goals this season, surpassing the 15 he scored last term in the Bundesliga.

10. Salomon Kalou

Salomon Kalou is currently plying his trade at Lille

The former Chelsea forward, currently at Lille in France, is interested in a return to the Premier League. To the dismay of Arsenal fans the Ivory Coast international has been linked once again to a move to the Emirates. Kalou could be available for a fee in the region of £2.5m this summer despite still having two years remaining on his current deal at the Ligue 1 side.

11. Diego Costa

Diego Costa has been Atletico Madrid's outstanding player this season

A Gunners move for Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa seems unlikely with Chelsea likely to use their on-loan Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to tempt the Spanish side to sell one of the most-sought after players in Europe. Should Arsenal entering a bidding war with their London rivals, expect the transfer fee to exceed £30m. Diego Costa, with 25 league goals this season, is competing with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to become La Liga's top scorer.

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