Five Players Arsenal Can Sign In January

SanchezThere or thereabouts: that’s the assessment of Arsenal’s campaign so far.

They are so close to pushing the two Manchester sides for supremacy this term that the hope and expectation that Arsene Wenger loosens the purse strings is almost at fever pitch.

So who are the players that could turn the Gunners from everyone’s hesitant bet for the title into real champions?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Olivier Giroud’s failings can become all too apparent in the cold light of day. His ability in the air is not in question, but largely the aerial ball does not fit into the Arsenal way of football. It is his profligacy in front of goal – seven goals this term is not good enough considering the amount of chances Ozil et al create for him – and unimaginative movement that mark him out as the most un-Arsenal of strikers.

There are doubts as to whether Theo Walcott can cut the mustard as an out-and-out frontman too, and so realistically reinforcements need to be brought in to bolster a rather fragile-looking frontline. The fact that Arsenal have been out-scored in the Premier League by the likes of Leicester, Everton and West Ham is lost on nobody.

Of the available options, Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks a fantastic prospect. The 26-year-old has bagged 15 goals in 13 Bundesliga appearances during this campaign – one every 75 minutes to be precise – and his deadly finishing could finally provide the much-needed end product to some of the team’s fantastic passing movements.

He would cost a pretty penny given his form and the fact that his contract in Germany runs until 2020, but the feeling is that with Chelsea out of the title race and Manchester City looking vulnerable now is the time for Arsene Wenger to splash some cash to achieve the corresponding glory.

Gonzalo Higuain

Should Aubameyang prove too costly for the tightly-managed coffers, then Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain could represent a cheaper alternative.

At 27 the Argentine is just entering his prime, and with ten goals in 13 Serie A appearances he is clearly a player at the top of his game.

What could play into Arsenal’s hands is that despite Napoli topping their domestic table, they are once again plying their wares in the Europa League rather than the Champions League. This could act as useful bargaining power, and ensures that Higuain won’t be cup-tied should the Gunners somehow progress to the second phase of the competition.

Sven Bender

Surprisingly, the 26-year-old is not a regular starter at Borussia Dortmund, and knowing that his contract is set to run out in the summer of 2017 the Yellow and Blacks might just well to decide to cash in during the January transfer window.

Bender is a two-time Bundesliga winner and is on the fringes of that all-conquering Germany side. He is a brilliantly tidy player that sweeps up with typical German efficiency in front of the back four and isn’t afraid to get stuck in when the time is right.

With Francis Coquelin looking a bit fragile at times before his injury, Bender could slot in neatly alongside Santi Cazorla and add real value in the middle of the park.

Andrija Zivkovic

The ‘Serbian Messi’ as Zivkovic is known has reportedly been on Arsenal’s radar since he starred in Serbia’s shock triumph at the Under 20 World Cup, and he has just broken into the senior international side; scoring on his debut.

A diminutive winger who is strong on either foot and operates mainly from the right-hand side, Zivkovic has drawn comparisons with Messi largely due to his slight stature and close dribbling abilities. Impressively, he has netted five goals in ten games for club side Partizan Belgrade, and has netted four times in the Europa League as well this campaign.

One for the future then at just 19, but signing the Serb in January would signal Arsenal’s intent.

Ross Barkley

The Evertonian has long been regarded as a star in the making, and finally he looks to be living up to the hype this season.

With five goals and six assists to his name in the Premier League this campaign, Barkley looks to have transcended from prodigy to the real deal. He has the technical ability to fit in neatly at the Emirates – the thought of him linking up with Ozil and Alexis is mouth-watering – and with Everton unlikely to qualify for anything other than a Europa League spot this season, presumably the 21-year-old’s head could be turned by Arsenal interest.

A decent-sized bid would surely test Everton’s resolve.