Zaha, Lemar and Malcom: Arsenal face uphill struggle to bolster squad this January


It’s been called a fire sale as Arsenal look to the future. Francis Coquelin is the first to move on and one suspects he will be the first of many. Coquelin has been sold to Valencia for the staggering sum of £22million, a deal which Ian Wright described as “unbelievable” and “a fantastic bit of business “ 

Everton are rumoured to be in pole position for Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud is expected to move on in this window despite the manager’s assurances that the player will stay.

Giroud is in demand and a number of clubs in the Premier League and in France are likely to become embroiled in a bidding war should the player tire of his cameo role.

It’s said that Giroud has finally realised that his position at the North London club is uncertain and that he wants regular football so that he can force his way into the French World Cup squad.

Sanchez and Ozil are edging closer to the exit door and now fringe players like Debuchy and Chambers may be up for grabs. It’s also said that Laurent Koscielny has had discussions with the Manager about his future.

Many at the club are concerned by his disastrous dip in form and if Wenger is truthful then the Frenchman will also be packing his bags for a fresh challenge. Bellerin will not be leaving until the summer at the earliest unless the club gets an offer they can’t refuse but Barcelona have applied the brakes to the deal because of Coutinho’s massive transfer.

It’s the incoming transfers that cause the most concern. Wilfred Zaha has been strongly favoured by Wenger but Palace are reluctant to part with their major asset. No doubt, if the offer were big enough, Hodgson would be happy to use the cash to make a handful of necessary purchases to ensure his clubs status in the Premiership.

Jean Michaël Seri is still highly regarded by Wenger who is trying to establish the player’s availability and fee and Malcom is also being tracked. However, these deals look to be speculative because of Arsenal’s current form and inability to mount a challenge in the League or in Europe.

The proposed Jonny Evans deal from WBA has stalled due to interest from Manchester City as I recently bloggedThe deal with Arsenal looked highly likely to go ahead until the player was told of Guardiola’s approach and all the progress that had been made is now static until Evans indicates a desire to move to the gunners.

The Thomas Lemar story continues but I am confident that his rebuff in the summer and his increasing price tag have made the deal highly unlikely. Lemar regrettably expressed a preference for Liverpool and Wenger is said to have moved his attention to his dwindling shopping list.

William Carvalho, a one time Wenger target, is apparently available for the right fee and Wenger would be well advised to make sure that he secures his services immediately. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was mentioned as a target and despite Wenger dismissing reports, it is thought that pairing the Player with Lacazette is something the Frenchman dreams about. For any Arsenal fan, this pairing would be sensational but at this stage, it would be down to persuading the player to join and not the transfer fee.

It may be that Wenger has to abandon some targets at the initial stage because of the clubs poor and inconsistent form and will have to look at the next level of emerging talent in the hope that they strike gold.

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