Arsene Wenger has used his annual party-line of “no quality players on the market” to justify another miserable transfer window. He looks and sounds like a different man to the one who consistently unearthed young exciting talents in the first decade of his tenure. Here is a look at a number of players in different positions who would have made an upgrade to his current squad without the need for splashing astronomical cash sums as Wenger would have us believe.
Vietto joined Villarreal last season from Argentinian side Racing Club. He quickly hit the ground running and finished the season with 12 league goals and 8 goals in 12 Europa League games – an impressive tally for a debut season. His performances earned him a transfer to Atletico Madrid where he will join up again with Diego Simeone who handed him his first senior appearance for Racing Club. His style of play can be likened to Aguero in that he is a very intelligent mover off the ball, has good footwork, and is able to hold up play and create space to fire shots away.
A question that should baffle even the most loyal Arsene Wenger fans is how he failed to jump at the opportunity to sign Dzeko for £15m and instead let him ply his trade next season in the Italian capital. A proven Premier League goal scorer with a killer eye for goal, Dzeko would have been the solution to Arsenal’s striking problems. He is a great header and finisher and is also skilful enough to link up play with Arsenal’s exciting midfield talent.
The Werder Bremen defender is a perfect fit for Arsenal. He is a player who favours playing in a zonal marking system and can be seen as a younger version of Per Mertesacker but with the potential to be much better than the Arsenal captain. Speed is not his main attribute but he compensates that with excellent positioning and his ability to read the game – reminiscent of Rio Ferdinand’s last season under the stewardship of Alex Ferguson. He is both tall and strong with a high win percentage of aerial duels. Arsenal’s match against Liverpool showed that they do not have an adequate replacement for Mertesacker or Koscielny and Jannik could have provided that much needed cover and challenged the Arsenal captain for a starting position.
Heir apparent of the Arenal legend, Patrick Viera, Kondogbia is another quality player who slipped the Wenger radar and went to Italy. With no Champions League football on the table it was all up to Mancini to convince the player to join his team. Not leveraging the Champions League football card early on and actively pursuing Kondogbia will probably be the worst transfer decision Wenger has made in recent years. This season, Coquelin’s hype is disappearing as it is becoming apparent that he is not the right man to guard the defence. Kondogbia on the other hand is fast and strong, loves to go into a challenge, wins most of his tackles and is also comfortable with the ball at his feet. He is a very good passer of the ball and is able to start attacks quickly with an 85% pass accuracy.
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