The January transfer window has firmly shut with Arsenal doing some of their best business in recent times. However, the rebuilding doesn’t end just yet. A goalkeeper, centre back or two and defensive midfielder are still pressing issues. Petr Cech’s decline this season has been alarming and it brings his advancing age into focus, while defensive shortcomings have been exposed far too often this season. Laurent Koscielny’s fitness and Granit Xhaka’s inconsistency have been particularly worrisome. Here we round up some of the possible targets that Sven Mislintat and company. have in focus:
2018-19 Arsenal Transfer Wish List
Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid)
The Atleti shot-stopper is probably amongst the top five goalkeepers in the world right now. With 91.9% save percentage this season, he is truly a machine in front of goal. Arsenal will most likely have to break their transfer record again for the third transfer window running with many outlets reporting fees in excess of £65 million for the move to happen. But with the Los Rojiblancos in no hurry to sell and Oblak on a long-term contract, Arsenal and most other suitors will find it incredibly hard to make this happen.
Likelihood of Happening: 2/10
Timo Horn (1. FC Köln)
Another goalkeeping target for Arsenal is rumoured to be Timo Horn. A solid keeper, this Köln man will be available for a paltry £5.4 million if his side is relegated from Bundesliga. While he may not be the blockbuster signing the Arsenal fans crave (and are slowing gaining a taste for), he still could be a shrewd signing especially if Köln face the drop. Expect this to happen only to happen if Arsenal fails to acquire their primary targets.
Likelihood of happening – 6/10
Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund)
Will the footballing gods ever let Borussia Dortmund keep their best players? The signs are not encouraging for BVB. The 22-year-old defensive midfielder is the next name touted to make a big money move away from the Westenfalonstadion. Manchester United are also circling for his signature and are capable of outspending Arsenal should the need arise. If Arsenal sign Weigl, the CDM position is safe for the foreseeable future.
Likelihood of Happening – 5/10 (if Weigl forces a move)
Kostas Manolas (A.S. Roma)
Arsenal came agonizingly close to signing Manolas in January only to fail at the final hurdle, hurts quite a bit. The Gunners agreed to Roma’s valuation of £30 million but couldn’t agree on how the payment was to be made, with Arsenal pushing for installments and Roma wanting the whole amount upfront. The 26-year-old Greek centre back could be the perfect signing to build a long-term pairing with Mustafi. With other young centre backs not instilling much confidence and Koscielny’s Achilles remaining unpredictable, Manolas is amongst the best options available.
Likelihood of Happening – 7/10
Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion)
This Northern Irish centre back was amongst Arsenal’s top targets in the January transfer window. However, they failed to strike a deal simply because they lowballed West Brom. They wanted close to £20 million and Wenger offered £10 million. Alan Pardew even told the BBC, “Unless it’s a bid that’s going to knock us off our chair,” and it was no way near that. ” At the age of 30, I doubt Arsenal will go back for him. Although if West Brom were to be relegated, Evans would be available for £3 million, pennies in this transfer market. That is an excellent deal for a player with loads of Premier League and Champions League experience.
Likelihood of Happening – 7/10 (Should WBA be relegated) 2/10 Otherwise