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How Arsenal could line-up next season
With this summer appearing to be the one where Arsene Wenger will finally dip into his transfer kitty, the Gunners may well be at the forefront of the title run-in come March/April.
One priority will be to get rid of dead wood and Wenger’s clearout is already underway after releasing out-of-contract Andrei Arshavin and Sebastien Squillaci. Rumours also state he could be ready to off-load Thomas Vermaelen, who has failed to reach the dizzy heights he had previously in an Arsenal shirt.
The French manager has a reported £50million to spend and has completed his first signing-in young U20 French international Yaya Sanogo, who has currently scored three goals at the U20 World Cup.
If Arsenal capture their main targets, they could line up in a 4-4-2 formation, with two main strikers.
The starting line-up
Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar
The Brazilian looks set to leave relegated QPR and is keen to stay in London. After playing a key role in Brazil’s Confederations Cup win, he may have earned his move to the North London club. His current manager, Harry Redknapp, recently said the 33-year old would be moving on to a ‘big club’.
It looks as if Sagna’s future lie adrift of the Emirates stadium, but it now appears he may stay for another season, at least. He only has a year left on his contract and uncertainty linked him with moves back to his homeland, France. But talks are believed to be underway to keep the right-back and a show of ambition may tempt him to stay in the Premier League
Arsenal have continuously been linked with the 28-year old Swansea defender and with reports saying the defender favouring a move away from the Liberty stadium, a transfer could be likely. An asking price of around £10 million may put Arsenal off, but if the defender wants out, the clubs may come to a compromise. At his best, Williams could sure up the Arsenal defence to help end their long wait for a trophy.
The defender as linked with big moves to Bayern Munich or Barcelona, but he looks to have committed to the Emirates as long as they show ambition. His development, since his move from Lorient, has seen the Frenchman develop into one of the league’s best defenders.
After a faltered start at Arsenal, Monreal has potential to be a successful left back for the Gunners since his £8.3million moved from Malaga. He has a good attacking side to his game and could develop a partnership with fellow countryman Santi Cazorla. If the defensive side of his game improves, he could be an asset to the Arsenal team; otherwise Kieran Gibbs could come in as his replacement.
After a long contract dispute with the club, Walcott finally signed and even though he would prefer to play upfront, he may have no choice if Arsenal sign world-class strikers. His pace could make him double up as the right player in a front three, providing he can track back to help defend.
It goes without saying, Wilshere is a key man to Arsenal’s, and England’s, future and his talent alone earns him a place in the line-up. Providing he can stay injury free, the central ball-player could stand out even more with a couple of quality front man ahead of him in strike.
The club’s vice-captain is under-rated for the Gunners and he has adapted well to playing in a deeper role to his Everton days after filling the void left by Alex Song. His set-pieces and leadership qualities could help Arsenal go all the way next year.
Providing Cazorla can avoid ‘second season syndrome’, his goals and assists will be vital for Arsenal’s hunt to end an eight-year trophy drought. He has lived up to his £16 million price tag and can play in a number of roles for the Gunners, be it central midfield or further afield and he is more than capable with both of his feet. Like Arteta, he is a set-piece taker and his free-kicks could help save games, or win them in dying moments of games.
Although the chances of this move are at early stages of speculation, Arsenal could put together a package Rooney couldn't resist and the lure of regular football in a refurbished team could bring the Red’s striker to North London. He won’t come cheap but his arrival could see a deadly partnership formed with his fellow arrival from Real Madrid.
Will he? Won’t he? This could well be the traditional ‘on-going summer transfer saga’ of 2013.
With the player keen to depart the Bernabeu, the opportunity to make a name for himself in the world’s best league, potentially with Rooney, could bring him to England.
His choices appear to be Arsenal or Juventus and the Premier League and regular football may be the main lure for the Argentinian.
With Carlos Tevez now joining Juventus, this may be the clearest sign yet Higuain is destined for a move to the Emirates.
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