There’s only two posts to go now before I go on a bit of a break, something I’ve been looking forward to for a little while now. Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick hit the back of the net, to be completely honest.
Today I take a look at some of the players who could be headed to Arsenal before the start of next season. Using last week’s reader survey as a guide – where 96% of you indicated that we need a new centre-back and 80% a new central-midfielder – I have specifically targeted those two areas. As such, there are not David Villa’s on this list.
Bare in mind that some of these players are not simply the best in the world in their positions, they are a mix-and-match of who I think we need, who is realistically available and who has been linked to the club before. They’re in no particular order and if you want to make a comment on them or suggest some alternatives then I certainly encourage you to do so. Here we go…
1. Xabi Alonso (Liverpool)
The best endorsement of Xabi Alonso’s abilities as a footballer came when Cesc Fabregas recommended him to the club. Alonso is not the hard-as-nails midfielder that a lot of people want, but he is tougher than he looks and would link up superbly with his Spanish friend in the middle. It’s clear that Alonso is a Liverpool favourite and highly unlikely to leave after staying last season, but if we could get him it would be an ideal signing in the midfield.
2. Naldo (Werder Bremen)
If I had a choice of any reasonably-priced central defender in Europe I would choose Naldo. At 6’5 the Brazilian is a giant and dominates in the air as a result. He’s a bit more Johan Djourou than Nemanja Vidic in the way that he attacks the ball, but has excellent European experience and consistently stands out in a Werder Bremen side that focuses on defending about as much as Arsenal do. A terrific player, a dominating presence and at 26 still has a number of years left in the tank.
3. Lorik Cana (Marseille)
I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about Lorik Cana but he has to be considered if only for his hard-tackling reputation and the fact that he captained Marseille to a second-place finish in the Ligue 1 this season. He is still very much a YouTube phenomenon in terms of what is actually known about his ability, but his ties to French football and leadership qualities make him an enticing prospect. It might be worth asking Samir Nasri his opinion too, seeing as though he played with him at Marseille for a number of years.
4. Brede Hangeland (Fulham)
Another one that I don’t know a whole lot about despite him being linked to the club every couple of days. According to his stats Brede Hangeland is another 6’5 juggernaut and his inclusion in most intelligent journalists Premiership team of the season suggests he is a player very much worth considering. At 27 he’s not young but a clear understanding of English football and the fact that he lives in London would see him settle in quite well.
5. Mathieu Flamini (AC Milan)
Is the possibility of Mathieu Flamini returning to Arsenal next season really that bizarre? With Emmanuel Adebayor looking to make an exit and AC Milan one of his fondest admirers, surely there is a possibility that Flamini could be lured back to England with the prospect of more first-team football and the rekindling of his very special partnership with Cesc Fabregas. I know it’s unlikely, but if there is any midfielder in the world who could improve our team it is Flamini and I don’t think for a second that he wouldn’t be welcomed back under the right circumstances.
So there you go: Messrs Naldo and Flamini please, Arsene. Make it happen if you can or make sure some very similar signings walk through the door.
Anyway, I’ll speak to you tomorrow in my final post before I take a break. Miss it if you dare…
Have your say on the potential Arsenal signings by leaving a comment.