Forget Fabregas! Here's the four players who transform Arsenal

Mario Mandzukic Bayern

Arsenal can learn from the positive early market start made by Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea in the latest transfer news and rumours.

Arsenal - and other constituent members of the Premier League's elite-level clubs - must surely admire the proactive approach Liverpool and Chelsea have adopted to the transfer market.

Brendan Rodgers has signed cover for his plaudit-laden strike team Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, by bringing in prolific England international Rickie Lambert. The Ulsterman has also recruited midfield cover having acquired Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen.

Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, is on the cusp of making a significant dual announcement as the Portuguese is allegedly ratifying deals with fearsome Atletico Madrid animal Diego Costa and former Gunner; Cesc Fabregas.

The Cesc signing will be one that irks Arsenal fans the most and is an unmitigated public relations disaster. Any goodwill built up from Arsene Wenger's FA Cup win could be undone just because they chose to pass on re-signing their former captain, who remains a world-class operator capable of excelling in multiple positions, and allowing him to join a London rival.

It would take strategic market nous to regain support should Fabregas be unveiled as a Blue - akin to a Mesut Ozil style impact, however, there are numerous high-end performers seemingly available for trading in the positions Arsenal most require recruitment in and chief executive Ivan Gazidis has indicated that the club are already engaged in transfer dialogue. He recently said Arsenal are "deep in conversations" to bring in new players.

Here are the big four who can transform Arsenal into genuine title challengers next season…

1): Dani Alves - Barcelona

With Bacary Sagna's Bosman exit, Arsenal are light in the right back berth. Serge Aurier is believed to be the primary target, yet this HITC: Sport report demonstrates that - statistically-speaking - Barcelona defender Alves would not only effectively replace Sagna, but be a considerable improvement on him.

The rampaging Brazilian has superior stats in defence (particularly in the tackle and interception), in possession (87% accurate with his passing) and in attack (created almost twice as many goal-scoring opportunities than Sagna last season). Alves is allegedly one of three players available for purchase as the Catalans look to fortify their own transfer fund.

Alves has a transfermarkt.co.uk valuation of £15.84 million. He is 31-years-old and his Camp Nou contract expires in one year.

2): Javi Martinez - Bayern Munich

If the Gunners bought Martinez then it is entirely feasible that the midfielder could have a Nemanja Matic style impact in North London. 

Matic seemlessly slotted in to Mourinho's first XI when Chelsea secured his transfer earlier in the year and, according to HITC data (via Opta), all the statistics are there that indicate Martinez could replicate the Serbian's success, as well as rivalling Lucas Leiva and completely surpassing Tottenham Hotspur's Sandro. 

Bayern Munich's utility player can play in the heart of defence or also as a defensive midfielder, providing good versatility for Wenger and, in the eyes of one Bundesliga expert, represents the "perfect investment" for Arsenal.

Bild have stated that Bayern are already studying a potential Martinez replacement, but if Arsenal wanted the player they may have to match his £32.5 million transfermarkt.co.uk valuation as the 25-year-old is not yet even in his prime years and still has three years left on his current contract.

3): Alvaro Morata - Real Madrid

Morata is a delightfully effective young man who has developed a reputation as a supersub at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, however, with Real Madrid looking to land a marquee signing from the Premier League; chiefly - Sergio Aguero - then Morata may become surplus to requirements, despite his talents and clinical finish.

Morata created a chance every 41 minutes he was on the field in La Liga on average last term, attempted a shot every 14 minutes and scored every 72 minutes - statistics, as you can see from this HITC: Sport report, elevate him past the usefulness of impact players in the Premier League such as Javier Hernandez, Alvaro Negredo and Romelu Lukaku.

The young Spaniard would revel in the service provided to him by Ozil and Theo Walcott from wide, would receive far more pitch time due to Wenger's rotation policy in the cup competitions and, should he acclimatise successfully, could end up as a clear rival to Olivier Giroud.

Morata only has a transfermarkt.co.uk valuation of £10.56 million but, due to his young age - 21 - and his clear potential, may command a higher fee even though his contract expires next summer.

4): Mario Mandzukic - Bayern Munich

As explained by HITC: Sport recently, Mario Mandzukic's relationship with Pep Guardiola appears as fractious and unpleasant as Zlatan Ibrahimovic's with Pep. It is unworkable, unsalvageable and the forward is no doubt heading toward the Allianz Arena exit door. Arsenal are just one club who could take advantage of the situation.

In a data study recently published here, Mandzukic was compared to other potential Arsenal targets, like Mario Balotelli, or similar players to his own position, like Edinson Cavani. Balotelli's positional sense and his statistical returns from key areas saw him as the most attractive target, on paper at least, yet N5 strike legend Alan Smith believes Super Mario should be super avoided.

He said on talkSPORT recently: "Balotelli doesn’t strike me as an Arsene Wenger sort of player. He’s someone who commands the headlines and there’s always something going on with him off the field. He’s a great player on his day but, for me, he doesn’t have enough of them. There are a few [other options] out there at the moment, just look at the likes of Mandzukic."

The 28-year-old Croatia international has a transfermarkt.co.uk valuation of £26.4 million and his contract expires in two years.

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