Alexis Sanchez, one of the prize signings of the summer transfer window, recenty expressed his confidence that Arsenal have enough weapons to compete in the English Premier League and to challenge Chelsea for the title. The 25-year-old forward with 12 goals already this term conducted an interview with AS Chile, and didn’t seem too perturbed by the Gunners last two matches. Arsenal gave up a three-goal lead over Anderlecht to tie in Champions League play, and allowed Swansea to stage a late comeback and lost, all in the span of four days.
But Sanchez insisted that he actually needs to improve, mainly meshing better with his teammates, and that the Gunners are already loaded with talent.
"I tell you seriously: I like what I see so much that I have repeated myself many times, that if we have the required winning mentality, if we are positive and try to win every single game, I know we can win any competition,” Sanchez said. "I know that with this team we can win many trophies in the coming years. I am convinced.”
Those are certainly the words and attitude manager Arsene Wenger wants to hear from his splash summer acquisition. However, the Gunners do have some holes to fill, and Wenger is already scouring the winter market.
The latest report indicates that Wenger has opened up discussions with Roma over striker Mattia Destro, according to Daily Star. The 23-year-old nearly landed at Emirates during the summer session, but nothing came of Wenger’s initial overtures. Acquiring Sanchez likely bumped any more spending, and the move has obviously proven fruitful.
Nevertheless, Destro could be an excellent running mate for Sanchez, considering Theo Walcott is still working his way back from injury and Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey are doing their best but neither is truly capable of striking fear in opposing defenses. Over the last two years Destro’s racked up 22 goals in 49 appearances for Roma, and during his youth career at Inter Milan he studied under Jose Mourinho and watched such greats as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adriano.
Of course some might question why Wenger would even make a move with Costa Rican star Joel Campbell sitting on the bench waiting for first-team opportunities. But things may have reached a breaking point with the 22-year-old. Last week, Daily Mirror reported that Campbell desires to leave Arsenal in January due to a lack of first-team opportunities.
Now the Mirror is reporting that Inter are trying to negotiate a loan deal for Campbell with a £7 million option to make the stay permanent. Benfica could also be an option, since they tried to acquire Campbell during the summer session, just weeks after his stellar performance for Costa Rica in the World Cup.
In terms of the backline, Wenger could land Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar. According to the Mirror, the 29-year-old Dutch center-back has reportedly expressed a desire to leave Villa Park, which is understandable given the club’s current 11th place standing on the table, but Villa hopes to re-sign him.
Vlaar’s contract is up at the end of the term, and he could get a head start with a new team in January. Still Manchester United have also expressed an interest, and Vlaar is seeking likely the last lucrative deal of his career at this point.