So here we are again.

Another January transfer window and from the outside it seems that not much has changed for Arsenal (apart from that trophyless thing now behind us).

Arsenal are short of players in some positions (defence/defensive midfield) yet overloaded in others (attack) and whilst their squad depth is good, Arsenal find themselves in an all too familiar position of having an unbalanced squad and desperately needing numerous reinforcements like majority of transfer windows recently.

Wenger has made the usual noises of “the January window is hard, but if someone of the right quality becomes available….etc,” you get the idea – but the truth is that failures in the transfer market have cost Arsenal dearly over the last few seasons (as have an astronomical number of injuries).

We were told that the sale of Vermaelen would mean that a new defender would join the club (Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy had already signed by this point) but this didn’t happen in the summer and with injuries taking their toll as well it has meant that Arsenal have been stripped to the bare bones at the back on numerous occasions already this season (I very much doubt Carl Jenkinson would have left on loan if Wenger knew he couldn’t get another defender in).

When you combine that with the inconsistencies and concentration lapses already on display from our defence, even when everyone is fit, you realise that something has to happen…and soon.

Meanwhile with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini ageing (and struggling with injuries), Arsenal have lacked quality at the base of the midfield three and have struggled both to retain and regain possession as well as the ability to break up play. It’s been a very similar scenario for Arsenal in that they nearly have the squad to really achieve something, yet they are still lacking a couple of quality players.

Don’t get me wrong – the squad was strengthened in the summer. I dread to think where we would be languishing in the table without Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck, Debuchy and Chambers having joined, but Arsenal’s inability to complete the squad reshaping has left the club in a scrap for a top four place.

But could this transfer window change that? Could Arsenal finally pick up the players needed to cement their place in the top four and put themselves firmly in the title hunt next season?

At Daily Cannon we don’t write transfer gossip – we aren’t “in the know”.

But what we will be aiming to do for you over the course of this window is to separate the truth from the gossip and to really see if there is any fire beneath any of the rumours that will be sizzling for the next month.

As the window opens, let’s break down the positions at Arsenal, see who is currently in place, who has already been linked and take a look at what we think could happen.

So strap in, prepare to explain to your co-workers how you’ve spent quite so long in the toilet or get ready to ALT + TAB when your boss walks past and let’s get started.


Wojciech Szczesny is the undisputed number one at Arsenal, although his display against Southampton will have put some serious pressure on him especially with David Ospina returning from injury and in line to start in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Meanwhile Emiliano Martinez has started to prove that he is ready to fight for a place following his promotion to the first team this summer. A major change in the goalkeeper ranks this window is unlikely unless something serious happens with Loris Karius (although if that happens it’ll probably be a deal for the summer).


Arsenal’s defence is a confusing thing to try and work out.

At times they are completely solid and look like they could consistently keep clean sheets against Real Madrid, yet far too often this season they have been hit by concentration lapses and taken apart by simple errors. Injuries haven’t helped but even at the start of the season Arsenal were light on numbers in this department.

You would hope that Arsenal would look to strengthen this area of the team in this window and according to the reports the leading candidates are Ipswich Town’s Tyrone Mings, St Etienne captain Loic Perrin, Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk, West Ham’s contract rebel Winston Reid and Aston Villa’s (now injured) captain Ron Vlaar.

In terms of defence you only have to remember that Manchester United bid for a very injury prone Thomas Vermaelen to realise that there aren’t many quality defenders around (let alone for the price that Wenger will be willing to pay).

All of the reported targets will be available for around £10m or less so that should suit Wenger, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if Wenger shied away from a ‘quick fix‘ player as they have failed in the past (Sebastian Squillaci, Mikel Silvestre) and looks to a player that has a number of years in front of him. That theory therefore would count out Perrin (despite his versatility) and Vlaar (but more because of his injury problems).

We already know that Wenger is tracking Mings, but it’s more likely that Wenger will be looking at him for the longer term (so perhaps a summer move) and the noise coming from Celtic is that they have no need (or want) to sell Virgil van Dijk (although you get the feeling that a deal could be done if the cash was put on the table).

So through process of elimination – that leaves West Ham’s Winston Reid as the prime target.

His contract is expiring in the summer so could well be available for a smaller fee, he’s a good age at 26, would be available for the Champions League and (crucially) has Premiership experience.

However I also wouldn’t rule out further talk of a move for Basle’s Fabian Schar.


Injury problems in Arsenal’s midfield have led to Francis Coquelin being recalled from loan at Charlton and Chambers being used in a midfield role (which Wenger said he always expected him to play but given that he had already said that Chambers had played too many games you have to question the logic).

Elsewhere across the midfield Abou Diaby is still out injured (when is he not?) and Mesut Ozil, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey have all struggled with injuries over the course of the season so far. With Arteta, Diaby, Flamini and Coquelin’s contracts all due to expire in the summer, Arsenal will be shorter in midfield than they are at the moment.

A loan could be an option (a possible return of Kim Kallstrom?) but I’d imagine that Wenger will be looking for a permanent deal with Sporting’s William Carvalho , Atletico’s Mario Suarez, Dinamo’s Marcelo Brozovic and Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira all being strongly linked recently.

Sorry to disappoint so many of you but forget Khedira.

Contrary to the regular reports linking him with a move to Arsenal he has suggested that if a deal can be agreed that he would like to stay in Madrid.

Suarez meanwhile is a 27 year old defensive midfield player but as he can’t get into the Atletico team at the moment I can only imagine that if Wenger is looking at him, it is only with the short term (end of season loan perhaps?) in mind.

Carvalho is probably the name of choice on most people’s lips at the moment and he would fit into the club very well but with Sporting looking at upwards of £20m for him it’s not a move that Wenger would be likely to make in the winter transfer window unless he was really pushed into it or he thought that someone else was about to jump in.

On that note though, I’m actually pretty confident that Carvalho is a serious target but I don’t think that a deal will happen until the summer.

Which just leaves Brozovic and talk that Arsenal have already had a £5m offer rejected for the Croatian leaves me wondering if there is a bit of fire beneath the gossip smoke.

One thing is for certain though – he is not the complete defensive player that Arsenal are crying out for.

A few other players have been mentioned along the way (including a tongue in cheek Lee Cattermole one), but with no other players really gaining any traction in the media it’s really hard to comment.

I’d be very surprised if someone didn’t come in but it could well be a Kallstrom as opposed to a Carvalho.

With him not yet signing a new deal – James Milner could also well be on the cards for the summer.


The attacking three positions (for once) are where Arsenal finally have a bit of room to breathe with Theo Walcott getting back to fitness and Olivier Giroud fit (yet suspended for being an idiot) and I for one am really excited about (eventually) seeing a Sanchez, Welbeck and Walcott front line.

Yaya Sanogo will most likely leave on loan (although I don’t think it will be to a French club – more likely to be a lower Premiership club like QPR) and given that Lukas Podolski couldn’t get a run of games under his belt in the striker crisis of 2013 I’d be surprised if he stayed at the club beyond the end of the window (which personally I think is a massive shame).

Still, those departures will lead to more playing time for Joel Campbell. Oh – and forget Edinson Cavani. Whilst hugely talented, the £60m+ required to sign him would be much better spent elsewhere.

Have I missed anyone?

Is there anyone that you think will pop up on the radar between now and the close of the window at the start of February?

Hit the comments below and get in touch via twitter – @cannongossip.