8 possible Sanchez / Ozil replacements

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are gone. They are not going to sign a new deal. I think we have to all come to terms with them leaving the club on a free.

And when I talk about all of us having to come to terms, I include the Arsenal management.

It often feels that Arsenal transfer windows are managed without a plan. It is disorganised. But with the clubs two best players set to leave for nothing, it will be a disaster if Arsenal are not already prepared.

The plans of action need to start in January. Even if Sanchez and Ozil are to not leave until the summer, Arsenal need to not only target, but secure at least one replacement for the pair now.

Replacing two in the summer will be hard. Getting one replacement in January will take the pressure off and also ensure that come the 2018/19 season, we already have a replacement who is settled in England having had 7 months to adjust to the weather.

So who should Arsenal be targeting in January?

Thomas Lemar

Our number one target from the summer will surely be re-targeted in January.

He wanted to join Arsenal, Arsenal wanted him, but we messed up and did not meet Monaco’s valuation until too late.

Hopefully since the summer transfer window closed, we have kept talking to both Monaco, Lemar, and his representatives, and that a deal in January could happen quickly.

Robert Pires recently claimed that he felt that a deal for Thomas Lemar to Arsenal will not happen now. A lot of people have jumped on this as to assume the deal is dead. But reading the full quotes from Pires, he is saying this due to the price tag of £90m. That he (and probably Wenger) does not think he is worth that much.

At the end of the day, if we have the money, we need to spend it. Every million that go’s unspent becomes less valuable every year as transfer fees continue to climb.

Julian Draxler

Another long term favourite of some, German international Julian Draxler could be available for a cut price fee as PSG attempt to balance the books.

Draxler is one of 4 attacking talents that are being linked with moves away from the club. Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura are the other 4.

Draxler has struggled to nail down a place since joining PSG, but if Arsenal could get him cheaply, a transfer could be on the cards.

Antoine Griezmann

With Diego Costa set to rejoin Atletico Madrid, Antoine Griezmann may well be on his way out – if not in January, certainly in the summer.

It feels he has been itching for a move away for a couple of years.

Whilst Atletico have performed brilliantly in recent years, the trophies have dried up since Griezmann joined the club. He has only won the Spanish version of the Community Shield.

It is all well and good being competitive and making Champions League Finals, but if you are not winning trophies, players will become frustrated.

If he does want to move, there will be a scramble for him, with the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona also interested. Arsenal moved to the Emirates Stadium to compete with these sides for the likes of Griezmann.

Griezmann would be a stellar signing and the perfect replacement for Alexis Sanchez.

Thomas Muller

Things have gone a little sour for Thomas Muller at Bayern Munich in recent months. After a slow start, the 28-year-old finished with 12 assists in 25 Bundesliga starts last season. However, he found the net just five times. This season he has scored just twice in 17 appearances for club and country.

An established world star, he would fit straight in and provide goals and assists from midfield. Signing him might also see Mesut Ozil sign a new contract.

Raheem Sterling

With the development and form of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling has found himself on the fringes of the Manchester City first team in recent weeks.

Add in David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and big money summer signing Bernardo Silva, Sterling is finding the competition for places tough to get game time. He has made just 5 Premier League starts this season.

Add in Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City are the envy of world football with their attacking talent. 7 into 3 (or occasionally 4) does not go, and whilst they might win the trophies and get the money whilst sitting on the Manchester City bench, many players want to play.

Sterling is a London lad (via Jamaica) and spends a lot of time in the capital visiting family and friends.

Despite his lack of game time, he has still managed 7 goals in the league this season – just two shy of his career high 9 at Liverpool back in 2014.

There has always been a world class player in Sterling, but he just needs an arm round him and get consistent playing time.

He would get both at Arsenal, and at just 23, still has plenty of time to develop.

Dries Mertens

It has recently been linked that Napoli’s Belgian born forward has a release clause of just £25m. This is a snip in the current market.

At 30, he would not be a long term replacement for Ozil or Sanchez, but he is having an Indian summer to what had been an average career since Napoli move him down the middle last season – no player has scored more goals in Serie A since the beginning of 2016/17.

Lorenzo Insigne

The diminutive team mate of Dries Mertens, he has also been in excellent form.

Reminds me of a young Santi Cazorla, he is great with both feet, and can play anywhere behind a front man. The only question for both Napoli men is whether they would want to leave a table topping side for Arsenal in January, and lose the chance to become legends.

Possibly not.

James Rodriguez

The Columbian has only recently joined Bayern Munich on a 2 year long long deal, but things have quickly turned sour.

Signed by the since departed Carlo Ancelotti, Rodriguez found himself on the bench in the game after the Italians dismissal and there are reports that both he and Munich are looking for ways to end the loan deal.

With Real Madrid unlikely to want him back, the only option will be for Munich to find a club to take Rodriguez for the remainder of the loan deal. Arsenal could well step in and Rodriquez could show the creative abilities to fill the void left by Mesut Ozil.

Keenos

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