Arsenal – The home of transfer gossip
The 2018 January window has been one of the most hectic to date.
Transfers have been coming thick and fast with Phillipe Coutinho heading to Barcelona, Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool amongst tonnes of others.
There have also been plenty of transfer rumours and Arsenal, as per usual, are right in the thick of them.
The one difference is, it seems that Arsenal may actually sign some players this time.
It looks like Alexis Sanchez has played his last game for the club and the Chilean will most probably sign for Manchester United within the next few days, if not Chelsea.
Theo Walcott looks set to leave the club to join Everton in a deal worth £20 million.
Arsenal also sold French midfielder, Francis Coquelin to Valencia last week.
So how will the Gunners look in 2 weeks time?
As an Arsenal fan myself, I have been very disappointed in Petr Cech since he joined the club in 2015.
There is no dispute that Cech has been one of the Premier League’s greatest ever goalkeepers but the 35 year old is simply no longer good enough for a club who should be competing for European places.
It is extremely unlikely that Cech will leave the club in the January transfer window and he will almost certainly be the man in between the sticks for the rest of the campaign.
Arsene Wenger likes to play with 3 centre backs and Arsenal don’t look like they will be selling any of their defenders before the window is up.
For that reason, once Koscielny has recovered from injury, he will surely slot straight back into the side, despite his poor form this season.
Alongside him will be Shkodran Mustafi and one of; Nacho Monreal, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers.
Arsenal signed Sead Kolasinac on a free from Schalke in the summer but that hasn’t stopped youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles breaking into the first team.
Maitland-Niles has been played at left back/left wing back this season, not his natural position, but has performed well and looks like he will have a bright future at the club.
Sunday’s game at Bournemouth demonstrated that the 20 year old shouldn’t be playing on the left flank and I expect Sead Kolasinac to re-enter the starting XI very soon.
At right wing back, Hector Bellerin is unlikely to lose his spot in the first team, despite many Arsenal fans believing he is not good enough for the club.
Wenger signed Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos at the beginning of the window but the 20 year old surely won’t break into the first team in the coming weeks.
Arsenal have a number of solid midfield options within their squad.
Jack Wilshere has been Arsenal’s best player by a country mile since returning to the starting XI but there is no knowing what goes on in Arsene Wenger’s brain.
Wenger has preferred to start with Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey in midfield this season, even with Wilshere fully fit.
Now that Ramsey has returned to full fitness, I worry that Wilshere may be dropped.
Mohamed Elneny is a decent defensive midfield option to fill in for injured players and come on to help see out a game late on.
With Alexis leaving the club, there will definitely be at least one change to Wenger’s regular line up.
I personally do not want to get my hopes up and I can’t see Arsenal pulling off a big signing considering the state of the club.
If rumours are to be believed, Aubameyang and Malcom look like the most likely candidates to join the club as Mkhitaryan isn’t keen on joining “low-level” Arsenal.
Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan played with each other for 3 years at Borussia Dortmund after both signing for the club in the summer of 2013.
The duo won the DFL Supercup with Dortmund in 2014, with both players netting in the final in a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich.
Even though Mkhitaryan hasn’t played particularly well at United, I would love to see him in an Arsenal shirt, especially alongside Aubameyang.
If any of these players were to sign for the club, even Wenger would find it difficult to keep Alex Iwobi in the team.
Mesut Ozil is yet to sign a new contract at the club but there has been little speculation of the German leaving in January.
Arsenal signed Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon in the summer and the Frenchman hasn’t exactly hit the ground running with just 8 goals in 23 appearances for the Gunners this season.
Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud are unlikely to break into a team containing such high quality players.
Who will be left out of the line up if Arsenal bring in players of such a high calibre?
If the rumours are true and Arsenal are to sign these three players, their line up depends completely on which formation Wenger would like to use.
If Wenger sticks with the current formation, I can’t see any way for Mkhitaryan or Malcom to make their way into the starting line-up.
Therefore, this could be Arsenal’s team in February.
If Wenger decides to revert back to his old formation, there is much more space for all of the new signings to fit in.
Arsenal’s line up could look something like this: