HITC profile the top 10 (in no particular order!) Arsenal transfer rumours to have been circulating since the closing of the summer window.
10): Nicklas Bendtner
A summer exit seemed apparent but Bendtner remained on the books at Arsenal, rather than moving to, say, Crystal Palace. He has been used sparingly in the current campaign but has shown a goal-scorers touch by returning an early goal versus Hull City.
Sunderland, Stoke City and Palace could all make bids in January but his transfer away from the Emirates Stadium may depend on who Arsene Wenger is able to bring in.
9): Thomas Vermaelen
The strength of defensive pairing Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker had seen the Gunners, prior to the Manchester City defeat, build up (statistically speaking) the best rearguard in the division but their understanding at the back has seen captain Thomas Vermaelen sidelined and press-linked with a move to Internazionale.
The Belgium international, though, has been outspoken in his desire to stay in North London: ‘I am happy we are top of the league’, he said, as quoted by Sky Sports, earlier in the month.
8): Alex Song
The Cameroon midfielder, arguably in a similar position to Vermaelen having seen him lose his place in the team and starved of regular football, has been linked with a sensational return to the Emirates Stadium but, looking at the form of Mathieu Flamini, his role would be likely limited to the bench if he ever were to transfer back to Arsenal. An unlikely move.
7): Luis Suarez
The Suarez to Arsenal speculation has calmed somewhat of late but, considering how interested Wenger was in the Uruguayan in the summer and judging how much he has improved since then, how could the Frenchman not marvel at the Liverpool forward’s form?
Realistically, a world-record bid would be required for Liverpool to part company with the most in-form striker in world football. Are Arsenal likely to bid £90m for him in January?
6): Javier Hernandez
Wayne Rooney, Hernandez and even Robin van Persie… bar Danny Welbeck, Arsenal have been linked with every one of Manchester United’s forward line since the summer. Out of them all, Hernandez may be the most likely, however, David Moyes may be loathe to allow the Mexican to leave Old Trafford because of the injuries that are cursing van Persie.
5): Iker Casillas
At one point, a goalkeeping recruit appeared to be a foregone conclusion last season, however, like Aaron Ramsey, like Olivier Giroud and like the defensive axis of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, Wojciech Szczesny is one of many Arsenal stars to have improved drastically in the current calendar year. Expect this rumour to be just that – paper talk.
4): Antoine Griezmann
Out of many of the players associated with Arsenal transfers, the calibre, occupied position and even nationality of Griezmann – a reliable goal-scoring left-sided winger from France – all make sense. The 22-year-old has returned ten goals and one assist from 13 starts in Spain's Primera Division this season, meaning in terms of minutes per goal/assist, he is more capable than Olivier Giroud.
If bought, Griezmann would not replace Giroud, though, but complement him. He would also provide good width on the left, a near mirror of Walcott’s position on the right flank in season’s past.
3): Davy Klaassen
If ever an Ajax academy product is lauded as the next Dennis Bergkamp then there is only one destination the media will link him to – Arsenal. Arsenal scouts were apparently in Netherlands in mid-December to witness the 20-year-old bag a hat-trick against NAC Breda and were suitably impressed.
2): Martin Montoya
Beginning to break into the Barcelona first-team, Montoya has featured 32 times in La Liga since graduating into the senior squad, however, if he wanted to become a first-team regular, he may have to leave Camp Nou and Daniel Alves’ shadow.
Bacary Sagna’s increasingly dubious future at Arsenal has been under the spotlight and the full-back’s contract expires in the summer. Montoya could be the replacement that battles Carl Jenkinson for the number 3 shirt.
1): Edinson Cavani
Almost as audacious as the Radamel Falcao to Chelsea story is the Edinson Cavani exit speculation. Both Ligue 1 players have only been employed by their respective clubs, AS Monaco and Paris Saint Germain, for a half season but both could allegedly leave.
For Cavani, he is reportedly unhappy at being the sidekick to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s superhero and reports from France indicate that Arsenal were eager to express their interest in luring the Uruguayan to London.
image: © jikatu