It’s been nearly a month since the crazy summer transfer window came to a close, and Arsene Wenger will already be casting one eye towards potential deals that could be made during the new year sales.
Despite the obvious quality throughout the current squad, there is certainly room for improvement in both depth and star quality. When combined with the question marks over the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, among others, it could be an uncharacteristically busy window at the Emirates.
Here are just six of the names we could see arrive at London Colney at the start of 2018.
#1. Dries Mertens
Napoli’s Dries Mertens is a player that has been heavily touted as a potential January addition ever since the summer window slammed shut. It has been reported that Wenger tried to land the Belgian before the season started, and Football London believe a cut-price winter switch could be on the cards.
His goals to starts ratio in the early parts of 2017-18 has been nothing short of incredible while an ability to play across the attacking line could be crucial considering uncertainty over the futures of several current Arsenal stars.
Whether he’d force his way into a starting berth is another debate altogether. Either way, if the club can get him in as a cheap squad addition, there’s no doubt that it’d be a worthwhile signing.
#2. Justin Kluivert
Wenger has enjoyed a good history with Dutch strikers in the past. While it might be a left-field target, the impressive Justin Kluivert could be one worth chasing. At just 18, the Ajax teenager is already being touted as a potential future star.
Dutch website Onlinewedden.com has likened the tricky speed demon to Theo Walcott, suggesting the son of Patrick could go one better than the Englishman by actually living up to the hype. While the youngster’s playing time at the Johan Cruyff Arena has been limited, there’s plenty of reason to feel positive. Making in move in January might be the only way to beat competing clubs to his signature.
A number of high-profiled clubs have their ears pricked whenever a member of Barcelona’s first team squad becomes available for purchase. The news that the Blaugrana are prepared to let Brazilian star Rafinha leave the Camp Nou in January is no different.
The right-back was reportedly offered in the summer as a makeweight aimed to encourage the sale of Hector Bellerin. With the Spanish right-back struggling for form, a repeat offer in January may work. Alternatively, Wenger may try to sign the 24-year-old Rafinha as extra competition.
Without being the biggest gap to plug right now, very few Arsenal fans would turn down that addition.
#4. Edinson Cavani
The summer signing of Alexandre Lacazette seemed to put an end to years of speculation surrounding a potential move for PSG star Edinson Cavani. However, a host of Premier League managers will be keeping a watchful eye on matters at the Parc des Princes as suggestions of animosity between the Uruguayan and new star Neymar continue to grow.
Finding a way to accommodate the 30-year-old could be difficult but it’d be a lovely headache for Wenger to have, especially after the striker scored 49 times in 50 competitive matches last term. Missed shots have often been the one question mark regarding his quality. Given the amount of chances that he’d see at the Emirates, though, this would hardly be an issue.
If available on a cut-price deal, the Gunners would be foolish to ignore it.
#5. Julian Draxler
Julian Draxler is another PSG star that could be available thanks to Neymar’s world record signing. Once again, he’s a player that has been linked with the club on several occasions, and it’s an arrival that most Gooners would love to see.
At just 24, the German’s best years are still arguably ahead of him. The Guardian have suggested that Wenger is ready to make a bid in January, and the former Schalke man would be a welcomed addition. Even if another player must depart to make it happen.
#6. Thomas Muller
A sense of inevitability has always surrounded Bayern’s Thomas Muller and a potential move to England. Given the German club’s uncertainties, January 2018 may be the time for that move to manifest, especially if the 27-year-old is to set the Premier League on fire.
Arsenal won’t be the only interested party, but Andrew Gibney of Footballwhispers.com that the Emirates would be an ideal fit. It’s not a deal that would come cheap, but it is one that would fire a signal of intent.