Arsenal are in the mud with their two key players, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. The two stars are stalling on their new contracts and with 18 months left, time is running out on Arsene Wenger to seal their futures to the club. The biggest stumble is their wish for a pay rise near the £300k mark, which is not Wenger’s cup of tea.
He has some alternative options at hand: sign other marquee players. This will show ambition but will once again involve splashing the cash.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Marco Reus
Reus has been linked with a move to Arsenal for quite some time now. A move for him would make all the difference for convincing Mesut Ozil to sign as the two are friends from Germany’s national side.
The German’s contract runs out in the summer of 2019, so he would cost in excess of £50 million if Wenger opts to sign him.
As to quality, there’s no question he will be an improvement to the current squad. Reus can be placed on the right side and can contribute to increasing possession of the ball. His style of playing will fit Arsenal well.
2. Julian Draxler
Reports suggest Julian Draxler is on the verge of moving away from Wolfsburg as he has fallen out with the club’s supporters.
Wenger would do well to consider bringing him in but that would involve splashing some cash since his contract is set to run out in 2020.
Draxler is a versatile and ambidextrous player who can play all along the midfield line. He poses threat with direct runs and is ever-threatening with his powerful long-range shooting. Buying him in the January transfer window will make Arsenal serious Champions League contenders.
3. Cesc Fabregas
Sometimes the answer is right in front of your nose. Cesc Fabregas is the logical choice for replacing injured Santi Casorla: he is in London, and knows his way around the club.
Fabregas has bogged down in the mud at Chelsea this season with new manager Antonio Conte opting to use other players instead of him. Signing him would boost Arsenal’s title chances and could take some responsibility off the shoulders of Ozil and Sanchez.
4. James Rodriguez
The pressure is on Zinedine Zidane to keep Rodriguez happy is high. The Colombian super-star has seen very little play time this season and has fallen down the pecking order in Madrid with Karim Benzema, Isco and Mateo Kocavic being the preferred starter choice.
Even Zidane has admitted that Rodriguez causes a selection headache. If things continue down this line, he may seek a move away to get the playing time he deserves.
He would be by no means cheap, in the region of £60 million due to his contract having four years left, but if Zidane decided he is a surplus to requirements, the price will drop. However, the potential of such marquee signing could offer a boost to everyone at Arsenal.