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Five players who can push for Arsenal’s title challenge in 2012/13

Arsenal finally pushing for third, took long enough. At the beginning of the campaign many football fans wrote of Arsenal in the race for fourth, and the much-coveted Champions League places. Even the most loyal Arsenal fans worried, with the squad suf...

29 Mar 2012, 18:30 IST
Arsenal finishing third this season is looking far more possible due to Tottenham’s stuttering form and Arsenal’s impressive run in the last 10 league games or so. At the beginning of the campaign many football fans wrote off Arsenal in the race for fourth, and the much-coveted Champions League places. Even the most loyal Arsenal fans worried, with the squad suffering from the loss of two world-class playmakers in Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Many expected Wenger to go for a world-class replacement in the summer, but those who know arsenal and Arsene well, knew it was a no-go.With the additions of Gervinho, Jenkinson and the Ox, it was looking more and more likely that Arsenal would miss out on the top four the following season. Last minute deals by tying up Arteta, Mertsacker, Park and Santos gave Arsenal fans a reason to be hopeful, especially after the humiliation at Old Trafford the same week.This Arsenal squad though, defied all the odds and went on to sit comfortably in third place with only eight games remaining. Arsene Wenger has to add to his squad to make a push for the title next season, let alone finish within the top four. The current squad has a few gaping holes, especially in back up. Here is a list of first-teamers Arsenal should go for, followed by a list of backups.

Lukas Podolski

16 goals with Koln, a team 14th in the Bundesliga and only one point away from the relegation zone says it all. Goals are hard to come by at the low end of the table, and by scoring 47% of his team’s goals; he has proven to be a clinical finisher, one who would fit perfectly on the right wing with RVP.

14 million euros should be enough to get him, and Koln’s possible relegation would activate a cause that would see him walk for 6 million euros.

Leighton Baines

Top left back, with Premier League experience with Everton. Gibbs and Santos are good… as backup. Baines is fast, good defensively and provides an excellent attacking threat with his pinpoint crosses. Definitely and upgrade on the current left backs, a position which is proving to be a weak link in the back four.

He would probably be available for around 15 million euros, not a lot to pay for the dying breed of fine left backs.

Keisuke Honda

Japanese international with plenty of top-level experience, representing Japan at the World Cup. He would provide a creative outlet to relieve the pressure on the returning Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey.

Would fit into a midfield of three with Jack Wilshere and Alex Song perfectly, playing in an advanced role providing passes and would occasionally chip in with the spectacular goals, also an excellent free kick taker.

Arsenal would probably have to pay a bit over the top for him; something in the region of 25 million euros would perhaps force CSKA Moscow’s hand.

Back Ups

Richard Dunne

33 year old centre back with an abundance of Premier league experience and would be able to lead the back line in the absence of one of Laurent Koscielny, Vermaelen and Mertesacker.

Most Arsenal fans would prefer him to Johan Djourou any time of the week and will likely be available for a relatively low fee of around 5 million euros.

Fabio Quagliarella

Juventus striker who would be an amazing option to rely on in the absence of RVP. Clinical finisher and would not be too disappointed with a place on the bench with a top club. Juventus would part ways with him for around 10 million euros.

Best possible starting line up-

Sagna – Vermaelen – Koscielny – Baines
Wilshere – Song
            Podolski – V.Persie – Walcott/Gervinho

Subs: Chamberlain, Arteta, Dunne, Quagliarella, Ramsey, Mertesacker


Written by Mostafa Morsy
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