Arsenal transfers: The four leaders who they must sign to win silverware

Emirates Inside

Arsenal have been linked with a number of players this transfer window, but four stand out.

Arsenal were out of last year's title race before the Champions League group stages had finished, and will be desperate to put up a more serious challenge next season.

With pots of cash at their disposal there is opportunity for them to close the gap on the three clubs who finished above them, and have been linked with signing several players.

Among these, four stand out as true leaders who could really add maturity, class, and a fighting spirit to the Arsenal team which would surely propel them upwards in the table.

They are Rui Patricio, Ashley Williams, Marouane Fellaini and Gonzalo Higuain.

In buying the quartet, Arsene Wenger would effectively be buying a new spine for the team, in a goalkeeper, central defender, central midfielder and striker.

All four are prepared to leave their current clubs and available on the market, and could be bought for the much-touted £70 million fund Arsenal have at their disposal.

Patricio is Portugal's first choice goalkeeper who at 25 could super-cede Wojciech Szczesny's position in goal and play a role for the Gunners for the next decade. He currently plays for Sporting Lisbon, whose cash troubles make them willing to sell for around £10 million, and would rather see him go abroad than sign for a Portuguese rival.

Ashley Williams would be available for a similar price and it is claimed negotiations between Arsenal and Swansea are ongoing. He would compete for centre-back positions alongside Vermaelen, Koscielny and Mertesacker, and provide the Gunners with all the strength in depth in the position they need. He is a captain for both Swansea and Wales, bringing leadership skills to the dressing room and the pitch, illustrated by the statistic that no player in Europe's top leagues blocked more shots last season than he did.

The midfield addition is Marouane Fellaini, a proven Premier League performer who says he wants to play as a defensive midfielder, filling a void Arsenal need. Taking on the role of their enforcer, the Belgian is one of the most complete players in the league, with former Gunner Ray Parlour this weekend describing him as an ideal replacement for Patrick Vieira. The Everton man exudes a physical presence Arsenal have lacked since the Frenchman, and wants to leave the Toffees to play Champions League football and raise his game ahead of the 2014 World Cup. A release clause in his contract of around £24 million means he is available to buy, if the Gunners can persuade him they are his best option.

And then there is striker Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentine forward has been described as a game-changer for Arsenal by his illustrious career to date, and what the addition of a player of his stature would mean for the club. A prolific striker in La Liga, he is thought to be close to a switch to the Gunners where the attraction of being the 'main-man' is said to be swaying him in the direction of North London. He is the 30-goal a season striker Arsenal fans crave, and a player who can become an icon for the club.

Arsenal's squad at present is not a bad one, a which can win 2-0 away at Bayern Munich clearly have a lot going for them. Their defence was the second best in the Premier League last season and they are the only team in last season's top four which have the stability of continuance in their manager for 2013/14.

So when you imagine what the addition of the four leaders, ready-made players rather than ones who can 'fulfill their potential', would do for Arsenal next season, the possibilities are endless.

Would you be happy if this was how Arsenal spent their £70 million?

 

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