Arsenal's Shopping List: Alternative Options
The transfer market is open and Arsenal, as always, have been linked with a whole host of players. Nearly all of the rumblings we hear are centred on two positions: A striker and a central midfield player.
We do also probably need right back cover, but for me that is more of a summer concern, and there may also be concern in goal with the potential departure of Bernd Leno - but it looks like Matt Turner of the New England Revolution is our man.
We all know the names Arsenal are supposedly monitoring/bidding for/signing tomorrow depending on who you believe; the likes of Vlahović, Arthur Melo etc. - but what about some alternative names and options?
Here are some names that I think could be just as effective.
Amine Gouiri - OGC Nice
Valued apparently at around the £40 million mark, the young forward has been extremely impressive for Nice this season.
In 34 games last season in the league, he had 9 goals and 7 assists. This season, in 21 games so far, he has 9 goals and 6 assists - he's improving fast He might not be that physically imposing forward, he might not even be the quickest, but what he does have is incredible technical ability - he has one of the best first touches out there at the moment. He also has great instincts and a very clever footballing mind for someone so young.
One of his biggest attributes as well is his ability to link play - no matter if it is drifting to the left or dropping into midfield, that first touch and his ability to spot a pass could well be to the benefit of the likes of Martinelli or Smith Rowe. Still only 21, he does have some work to do in some areas of his game and might not be the type of striker we want right now, especially as he is not the best with his back to goal.
But his ability to both score and assist would make him a very interesting signing, and perhaps one that could see him and Martinelli swapping positions during games.
Karim Adeyemi - RB Salzburg
At just 20 years of age he is one of the brightest young talents in Europe, and will likely be a Bayern Munich player at some stage.
He's not the biggest at around 5 foot 9, but boasts very impressive stats with 3 goals in the Champions League this season and 14 goals and 2 assists in 17 games in the league. He certainly has an eye for goal. He also scored from the bench on his debut for Germany.
He does play in Austria, so there's some caveats for league quality here - but last season Mo Salah had a 0.35 success rate of shots on target, and during the same season Adeyemi had a 0.47 success rate. He is valued at around £30 million right now and he has a lot of upside. He converts the chances he gets and he presses extremely well, however the flip side is he does often lose possession trying to dribble past people - and he isn’t exactly physically imposing.
Despite the flaws, he is only 20, and there is no doubt he is a player we could likely get now. If we don't he is likely to move to a top European club in the summer.
Victor Osimhen - Napoli
The Nigerian Forward is now 23 and is under contract with Napoli for another few seasons, so he wouldn’t come cheap; likely to be over £50 million. He has scored 5 goals in 12 league games this season and 4 goals in 3 Europa League games.
It would shock me if we did this to be honest. He is a good player and is physical and can do damage that way but he is much more of a risk with the likely price - also, he basically scores the goals he should score. Technically not as gifted as the two players above, but if it is that shock factor signing we're after, this would certainly be that.
Matias Arezo - River Plate
The 19 year old currently plays for River Plate in Uruguay and is valued at around £6 million - so a cheaper option for sure. In total in his career he has 37 goals in 91 appearances, so he is not the finished article yet but has less than 12 months on his deal so maybe he could be worth getting in soon if we are to lose Eddie, Auba and Lacazette in the summer.
He is very good at closing down, a very hard worker, good in possession, and is equally comfortable dropping deep to link play or run behind. He is calm in front of goal and I am sure with the small fee it would take to get him a lot of clubs will be looking at him.
He is not as physically imposing as perhaps we would like and having only played in Uruguay it would take some time to settle and adapt - also it might be hard for him to play as a lone striker, something he has not done very often.
He would be a gamble but sometimes gambles pay off.
Ryan Gravenberch - Ajax
Coming from a family like I do where one half hold season tickets to Ajax - I know first hand that this guy is quite special.
His value is around £31 million; a strong imposing midfielder at 6 foot 2 who really will end up at a top club and perhaps (out of nowhere) ours. Highly unlikely given Ajax are still in Europe this season but then you never know - they do sell their young talent and reinvest.
Strong in the air, a very good passer of the ball he can link play very well, he can play those line breaking passes and he can hit a shot as well. There is very little downside to him really sometimes he does play a little safe and even though he does have a good shot he can be a bit of a Partey and fire them from distance usually not so accurately. He is only 19 so I would love him to be the surprise signing we make this year and would be half the price of the next guy.
Jude Bellingham - Borussia Dortmund
It is highly unlikely we would make a move for him this window (or probably any window to be honest), but he is a proper talent.
He would cost well over £60 million you would think, but he is so young and so talented and would fit in great with our other young players. We know he can score, we know he is physical and we know just how good he can be. The price is a big drawback and it is unlikely he would leave Dortmund to come to us - at least not unless we were back in the Champions League.
If the club really want to give us a good surprise this move would be something special.
Ruslan Malinovskyi - Atalanta
At 28 he is a bit older than the other options, and the Atalanta man would cost around the £30 million mark.
He is very dynamic going forward and can dribble well with the ball. He can spot a pass, he's good in the air and he's a decent crosser of a football - he can hit a dead ball very well indeed,
The downside is he does like to drive forward but is more akin to Pogba when it comes to tracking back. He would bring some nice experience into the middle of the park but would need to improve that defensive work to really be a signing Edu and Arteta are likely to go for.
Aurelien Tchouaméni - AS Monaco
We can only hope Fabregas talks non stop about how great Arsenal is and that might get him to come to us - there is little doubt the young French midfielder is a huge talent who would be a nice surprise for us this window. He has been linked to both Chelsea and Man United so maybe we can sneak in there before they do.
He's a very good defensive midfielder. He covers ground, tackles very well, is strong in the air and with his good physical presence and ability to break up play, he could become an ideal partner for Partey, doing the hard work to allow the Ghanaian to play his best stuff going forward.
One downside - he's not great when forced to play with his left foot but that is something that can be coached. He is just about to turn 22 and at around the £35 million mark could be a great coup for the club if they surprise us with this one.
If we don’t get him I think he either ends up at Chelsea or Real Madrid in the summer.
Tomas Soucek - West Ham
I would love the club to try and steal him from West Ham
While Declan Rice is the more attractive of their midfield options, he is likely to cost closer to £100 million while Soucek could be around £40 million.
He is just a very good player, scores goals and is a rock as a defensive player as well - it is no surprise West Ham have been so good with him and Rice in the middle, and while the clubs with mega bucks might all try and get Rice, maybe we could sneak in and get Soucek first allowing West Ham to offer Rice crazy money to stay. I am a dreamer after all.
Those are just a few alternative names, but players I would love at the club. Mostly unlikely, but worth a look. At worst just avoid lads with broken backs. Here's hoping Arsenal read thedifferentknock.com, eh?