January Transfer Blueprint: Arsenal


***The Transfer Blueprint series details what each Premier League club should be looking for as the January window approaches. Comment below with your own thoughts about what each club should acquire***

Our January Transfer Blueprint Series continues today with Arsenal. The Gunners sit tied atop the table with Manchester City, just falling second on goal difference. Many pundits are tipping Arsene Wenger’s squad to break through and win a title this year. They certainly have a chance to do just that, but they’ll need a productive January window to make it happen.

What They Should Buy: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Arsenal need to invest in a prime time striker. They are currently getting by with the combination of Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud. Walcott, the speedster, hasn’t exactly lit it up this year. He’s only contributed two League goals on the campaign and his Whoscored.com rating is a meager 6.75. He’s clearly been the weak link of Arsenal’s attack so far. Also in the “stop me if you’ve heard this before” category, Walcott has picked up an injury recently that will keep him out for an extended run of games.

Giroud, on the other hand, has knocked in five goals on the year in limited playing time. His player rating also eclipses that of Walcott which raises the fair question of whether or not he should have been starting all along. Whether he or Walcott truly deserved to have been starting up top is really immaterial. Having either of them start as a forward ahead of the quality Arsenal trots out at attacking midfielder is sort of like allowing the lead singer of Nickelback to serve as the front man for The Rolling Stones. It’s just insulting.

Also, don’t bother with the Alexis Sanchez should play up top by himself argument here either. He isn’t suited for it, and he’s been a killer out wide in attack. It would be a waste of his considerable talent. Furthermore, if your potential solution includes the words “Joel Campbell” you can stop before you start. He’s a talent, but isn’t the answer at this position for a title contender.

The solution here is pretty simple. Buy a striker. Are they expensive? Yes, but they score goals. Not to mention Arsenal is reported to have huge cash reserves for just this type of purchase. A world-class striker can take this offense from really dangerous to unplayable. More importantly for Arsenal fans, it could mean the difference between coming close to a title and winning the Premier League.

Other than up top, they’re pretty well set. I wouldn’t argue if they wanted to add another attacking midfielder in light of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s recent injury but I think that’s more of a luxury buy. I’m also not entirely convinced that Bellerin and Monreal can keep up their level of play so another wing back is possible.

Live Feed

3 talking points from Arsenal's victory at Goodison Park
3 talking points from Arsenal's victory at Goodison Park /

Pain in the Arsenal

  • Mikel Arteta provides Gabriel Martinelli injury update after Everton winPain in the Arsenal
  • Arsenal player ratings vs Everton: Super-sub Leandro Trossard wins itThe Top Flight
  • Everton 0-1 Arsenal: Player ratings as Gunners win at GoodisonPain in the Arsenal
  • "Hurts me" Arsenal legend makes shock Spurs admission after comebackThe Top Flight
  • Arsenal lineup vs Everton: Mikel Arteta hands out a shock DEBUTThe Top Flight
  • What They Should Sell: Given their injury situation at the present time I don’t think we’re likely to see many outgoing players in January. They have a small surplus of defensive midfielders so I could see someone like Flamini sold, but there’s not likely to be a significant market for him. Given the absence of a silly offer, I’d hang on to him and their other squad players for depth. It’s not as if their starters have long histories of good health to rely on.

    What They Will Do: I presume this is maddening to Arsenal fans, but I think Wenger and co will once again, stay put in January. It’s not Arsenal’s style to splash large sums of money in January and it’d be unwise to predict them to break that trend this season. They may make a minor tweak here or there, but I can’t see them truly bringing in a difference maker. In other words Karim Benzema isn’t walking through that door. Your best bet is the purchase of a young, French striker who may attain that level in five years.