No one could deny that Arsenal have had an outstanding start to the campaign, but recent performances have shown a weakness in the squad that threatens to undermine the club’s bid to end their long trophy drought this season. In their biggest test of the season to date, the absence of Mathieu Flamini was evident in a 2-1 defeat, while a largely second-string selection came up short against an even more altered Chelsea lineup in the Capital One Cup this week. Arsenal remain atop the Premier League, but Wenger is likely to already be thinking about how he can maintain their charge with activity in the January transfer window.
Here are four players he could target.
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Rumors persist that Arsenal are lining up a move for Benzema in January. The 25-year-old’s poor start to the season in Madrid, during which he has even been booed by his own fans, has sparked speculation that the Spanish giants are eyeing up a bid for Luis Suarez. Arsene Wenger is likely to have doubts, though, about spending big money on a striker who will want to be first choice at a time when Olivier Giroud is performing to such a high level in an Arsenal shirt. Benzema’s last two performances have also shown the potential for him to turn around his fortunes in the Spanish capital.
Konstantinos Mitroglou (Olympiakos)
Having been a solid goal-scorer for several seasons, the Greece international has been unstoppable in front of goal this campaign. Mitroglou has struck 12 goals in just eight league appearances, including two hat-tricks, while a further treble in the Champions League against Anderlecht earlier this month brought his exploits to wider attention. The 25-year-old has since been linked with a move to the Gunners. As with, Benzema, though, he would be cup-tied for the Champions League.
Youssouf Mulumbu (West Brom)
Much has been made of Mesut Ozil’s impact, but the arrival of Flamini has been equally important. For the first time in years, Arsenal have a player who is happy to simply focus on breaking up opponents’ play. The French midfielder has also been hugely influential in inspiring a greater work rate without the ball in his teammates. Both of these qualities have been sorely absent as Flamini has been missing in the past couple of weeks. Wenger would be wise to sign a player of similar qualities to backup Flamini, with the impressive Mulumbu linked of late.
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Martin Hinteregger (Red Bull Salzburg)
Arsenal have just three established central defenders and were unsurprisingly linked with moves to add to that number in the summer. Bacary Sagna has filled in adequately in the center of defense on occasion, but that is not a long-term solution. A couple of injuries could leave Arsenal in real trouble. A further concern is club captain Thomas Vermaelen recently conceding that he would have to consider his future in January if he cannot earn back his place in the side. Young Austria Under-21 international Hinteregger has been linked with a host of top Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, and recently revealed interest from Manchester United.