With Bacary Sagna's announcement that he is only 10% sure he will stay at Arsenal next season amid mounting interest from Manchester City, Arsenal must go all-out to land not only a player who could adequately replace the reliable Frenchman, but actually represent a genuine improvement.
As reported by HITC:Sport earlier today, right back Sagna told Le Parisien that: "there's a 90 percent chance I will leave and 10 percent that I will stay." Whilst the established defender concedes that he has not yet set foot at the Etihad, there have been numerous offers from clubs at home and abroad.
Arsenal cannot take the gamble that Sagna will side with that 10% chance he will want to remain a Gunner, especially when he can accept reported £120,000 per week offers from elsewhere.
For Arsene Wenger, who has been linked with a move for Toulouse player Serge Aurier, surely Barcelona veteran Dani Alves would represent the ideal purchase.
Alves, 31, is a two-time Champions League winner, UEFA Cup winner, four time La Liga titlist and has 72 international caps to his name
He is a proven winner, understands exactly what it takes to achieve the consistency required to claim league honours and Wenger would not even be required to break the bank to sign him as he is a: valued by transfermarkt.co.uk at a rather modest £15.84m, b: has his current Camp Nou contract expire in one year and c: is reportedly one of three players expected to be sold by Barcelona this summer.
Sport claim that club president Josep Maria Bartomeu is looking to offload a number of sellable assets in order to best raise their own transfer kitty. Alves, Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez have all been suggested to be expendable.
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When it comes to both defensive and attacking contributions, Alves has returned superior statistics based on domestic (Premier League or La Liga) matches alone when compared to Sagna.
While Sagna is a more prolific clearer of the football, Alves is more adventurous in the challenge, is more positionally sound so that he can intercept the ball with greater frequency, he has a higher passing accuracy, attempts far more passes per appearance, is more precise when it comes to crossing and is a clear goal threat due to his creation of 38 goal-scoring opportunities and his five assists.
Perhaps it is not a case of should Arsenal go for Alves, but why shouldn't they?
Wenger may, after all, already have the key to convincing the player to join his club so all that would be left is to negotiate with Barcelona.
None other than Jack Wilshere. Last year, Alves marvelled at the skill-level of Wilshere, claiming that the Englishman could reach the heights of Xavi and Andres Iniesta: "He has a lot of quality and a great personality," he said in The Telegraph last year. "I would choose him as a player to sign."