A great start to the season has Arsenal well placed to sign some more stars, but don't expect Arsene Wenger to go wild in the New Year. Olly Dawes looks ahead...
Arsenal's start to the season has fans dreaming of a first Premier League title since 2004, but with most of the team playing so well, it's unlikely that Wenger will splash out to the extent of his £42.5m capture of Mesut Ozil.
Instead, Arsenal should move to increase the depth in their squad, with few people questioning their first team, most of the scepticism surrounding Arsenal's title challenge is based on the strength of the squad. Here are four players that could make their way to the Emirates in January...
Sebastian Corchia, Sochaux - £5m
Regular right back Bacary Sagna is believed to be leaving the Emirates Stadium on a free transfer at the end of the season, with his contract expiring, and manager Arsene Wenger has moved to form a list of potential replacements, and Corchia is one of them. Wenger's history of taking youngsters from France and turning them into key players makes Corchia a sensible target, and the 23 year old has also attracted the interest of Lyon and Tottenham, but the chance to work under Wenger may be too hard for the former Le Mans right back to turn down.
Gokhan Inler, Napoli - £12.5m
Swiss international Inler has been a long-term target for Wenger, who was interested in the 29 year old whilst he was with Udinese. Turkish side Galatasaray are reportedly interested in signing the Napoli midfielder, but Wenger supposedly hopes that a £12.5m bid will be enough to secure his signature and bring him to London. Mathieu Flamini has been key since returning, as he has been able to break up the play and allow the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil to attack. Inler would play a similar role, which would be important as Flamini – as he is now – is often injured.
Demba Ba, Chelsea – loan/£5m
Ba was a target for Wenger on deadline day, but a late deal to take the Senegalese striker across London fell through. The former Newcastle striker has failed to replicate his form at Chelsea, but Wenger is known to be a fan of Ba from his time at St. James' Park, and a move could suit all parties, with Jose Mourinho seeking a new striker. Olivier Giroud has been outstanding this season, so a big money move for someone like Karim Benzema seems redundant, whereas Ba could be had either on loan or for a cut-price fee, offering solid competition up front.
M'Baye Niang, AC Milan - £6m
Another long-term target of Wenger's, the young forward offers versatility in that he can play out wide or as a striker, and with Nicklas Bendtner and Park Chu-Young virtually useless and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injured, Arsenal could stand to bring in another winger. Niang was on trial with Arsenal in 2012, but were beaten to his signature by AC Milan, but the Italian giants have brought in a number of forwards since and are now open to selling the French Under 21 international.
image: © Matt and Kim Rudge