Unai Emery is in dire need of new signings during the January transfer window if Arsenal are to finish in a Champions League place at the end of the season. The Gunners have been linked with numerous players in recent weeks and here are the five players most likely to be involved in a transfer deal with the North London club this month.
#1. Reece Oxford (West Ham)
Reece Oxford made his Premier League debut, aged 16, for West Ham against Arsenal at the Emirates and earned rave reviews for helping his side to a 2-0 victory. Despite a promising start, his career hasn’t kicked off at West Ham and he’s now looking for a way out of the club.
Oxford hasn’t featured for the Hammers this season despite their injury problems and there are clearly some issues behind the curtain that we are unaware of.
The 20-year-old was wanted by Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer and the Bundesliga club, where he spent last season on loan, still want to sign him permanently.
Arsenal is one of the clubs monitoring the situation of one of England’s most promising youngsters and they could sign him for as little as £10 million. Signing Oxford is a gamble but for only £10 million, it is one worth taking as the versatile defender can help plug the holes in the current Arsenal team.
#2. Hector Herrera (Porto)
Arsenal’s long-term servant, Aaron Ramsey, is on the verge of signing a pre-contract with Juventus ahead of a summer move when his contract expires. Losing a player of Ramsey’s quality on a free transfer is a huge blow for Arsenal but they could compensate at least the transfer fee by approaching another midfielder whose contract will expire in the summer.
Porto’s Hector Herrera is one of many stars available on a free transfer next summer and the Mexican international has been linked with a host of European clubs including Inter Milan, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Roma and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The 28-year-old is in his sixth season with Porto and he also has 70 caps at the international level. The current Porto captain will bring some necessary leadership quality and experience to the Arsenal midfield that often crumbles against tough oppositions.
According to rumours, the Gunners won’t sign him in January but will agree to a pre-contract for a transfer in the summer.
#3. Medhi Benatia (Juventus)
The current Arsenal team has a lot of holes to fill and right now, the biggest concern for them would be their defence.
Arsenal have been hit with injuries to defenders constantly and the form of the available centre-backs isn’t helping their case either. Rob Holding is out for a long period, Laurent Koscielny is still getting up to speed after a lengthy lay-off while Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have proved to be rather unreliable.
Medhi Benatia is currently not an indispensable player at Juventus because of the numerous options they have in that area of the pitch. However, the former Bayern Munich man boasts a lot of top-flight experience and was even named in the Serie A Team of the Year in 2013/14.
The 31-year-old could prove to be an excellent signing for at least a couple of years and if Juventus is willing to part ways with him, then Arsenal could snap him up for a reasonable fee.
#4. Denis Suarez (Barcelona)
At the start of the winter transfer window, Arsenal was linked with a move for Ever Banega who worked under Unai Emery at Valencia and Sevilla. However, the Arsenal board was reluctant to spend a hefty fee on a player who is 30-years-old. Therefore, their attention turned towards Denis Suarez who spent a year on loan at Sevilla under Emery.
Denis Suarez joined Barcelona in 2013 from Manchester City and has been a first team player since the start of the 2016/17 season. However, he has struggled to break into the first XI and has been used as a squad player throughout his Barcelona stint.
The 25-year-old has rarely featured for the Catalan club this season and the club is willing to let him go in January. It is reported that the player has an agreement with Arsenal but the two clubs are yet to reach an agreement.
According to several reports, Arsenal wants to take the player on loan in January and sign him permanently in the summer when more funds will be made available to Emery. However, Barcelona wants to offload the player on a permanent basis right away for a fee in the range of €10m to €15m in order to use that money to strengthen the squad.
The negotiations seem to have reached an impasse at the moment but a loan with an obligation to buy could be the most likely solution.
#5. Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang)
Barring Alex Iwobi, there is no player in the current Arsenal first team squad who’s a natural winger. Hence, Emery has often been forced to play the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out wide in several games.
The Gunners must sign a wide player in January and they may have found a realistic and quality target in Yannick Carrasco.
The Belgian international made a shock move to the Chinese Super League a year ago but the 25-year-old is keen on a return to Europe. It is rumoured that Carrasco is willing to take a cut on his current wage of £9 million per year to join Arsenal.
His future in China is uncertain after a bust-up with his teammate, Jin Pengxiang, in November which left the latter in need of treatment for a nose injury at the hospital.
Carrasco’s quality is evident and he has proven track record with Monaco and Atletico Madrid. It is reported that the player could be sold to Arsenal for only £25 million!