After a miserable August, Arsenal seem to be back on track after some positive results in September, but manager Arsene Wenger will likely need to be active in the January transfer period because of the perpetual injury problems the club continues to face.
At the moment, Arsenal have wingers Theo Walcott (knee) and Gervinho (hamstring), as well as centre back Laurent Koscielny (ankle), sidelined with injuries. Wenger continues to have problems maintaining fit centre backs as Thomas Vermaelen, Johan Djourou and Sebastien Squillaci are inactive. Midfielders Yossi Benayoun and Abou Diaby are not fit either, and Jack Wilshere may be out until February.
Though many of the aforementioned players will likely be fit by January, Wenger can't take the chance that players like Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs will be playing injury-free for a majority of the season.
Meanwhile, rumours have circulated that Robin van Persie may find his way out of Emirates. For snake-bitten Arsenal, even players with two years left on their contract are placed under a pointless cloud of uncertainty by the press.
Daily Mail reported that Manchester City will make a £30 million offer for van Persie should contract-extensions negotiations with Arsenal stall before the January transfer window. Juventus and Inter Milan are also reportedly interested in the Gunners' captain, but it's doubtful that Wenger would part ways with his most prized player.
Van Persie said he is not ready to sign a new deal.
I'm happy with my contract, I'm good, said van Perise, according to Daily Mail. That's how it is, I can't say much more. I can't look into the future.
Gary Cahill continues to be involved in transfer talks as Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly interested in landing the centre back, who has played shined for England.
Centre back is probably the main concern for Wenger despite the recent signing of Per Mertesacker. The lanky German has been vital to Arsenal's success this season, but there are far too many question marks for the Gunners at the position with Vermaelen continuing to battle injuries.
Vermaelen could be joined by a defender who bares some similarities to the 25-year-old if things go right for Arsenal. Centre back Jan Vertonghen, 24, has been linked to Arsenal for several months and, like Vermaelen, can also play left-back. Daily Star reported that Wenger hopes Vermaelen can tempt Vertonghen to join Arsenal, but there are plenty of suitors interested in the Ajax star.
If talks for Cahill or Vertonghen fall through, Wenger could turn to a new name that has recently surfaced. Lewis Dunk is only 19, but has shown promise at Brighton, and might be a decent fit at Emirates. Wenger prefers to groom young talent rather than pay top dollar for established players, and Dunk could be the ideal centre back for the Gunners as young Carl Jenkinson slowly emerges as a wing back.
With Benayoun on loan and Wilshere's season status in doubt, Arsenal may need an additional central midfielder. Daily Mail and Metro have both noted that Daniel Parejo is on the Gunners' radar. The 22-year-old Spaniard is valued at £5 million, and Arsenal have likely kept tabs on the creative midfielder after scouting former Valencia teammate Juan Mata, before he moved to Chelsea.
At the moment, no other club has shown interest in Parejo, so this might be the most likely move that Arsenal make in 2012.
A transfer that doesn't seem likely, yet is still reported on, is Eden Hazard's potential arrival at Emirates. The 20-year-old Belgian hasn't been quite the force many expected he would be this season, but remains highly regarded. According to Daily Mirror, Arsenal will be in competition with Real Madrid to add Hazard in January. The asking prices was far too high in August, so it doesn't seem reasonable to believe Arsenal would offer anywhere close to the £23 million valuation Lille placed on him.
Mario Gotze was another creative midfielder that Arsenal pursued over the summer, and were similarly dejected by the hefty asking price. Borussia Dortmund valued the 19-year-old star at £31 million, which was too rich for Arsenal, and for many other elite clubs.
Arsenal still have promising players like midfielder Ryo Miyaichi, but may need to take a chance and spend on more established players if they expect to be among the elite Premier League clubs and play in Champions League next season.