In Profile: Arsenal’s Deadline Day Transfer Targets

Could Cavani be on his way to the Emirates?

The chaos and the tension of the closing stages of the transfer window are upon us, and news websites and social media feeds are awash with talk of who might be Emirates-bound before the deadline passes and Europe’s top football bosses put their wallets away for a few months.

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Arsenal fans have become accustomed to their club being linked with seemingly every top European footballer with his eyes on a move, and it can be difficult to know exactly who these hopefuls are when so many names crop up on the back pages each day.

With so much hinging on the outcome of these final day deals, not least the Premier League betting odds that so often shift when a big player arrives on these shores, here is a run-down of the men linked with Arsenal in the past month.

Mauro Icardi

Last season’s top scorer in Serie A has reportedly been the subject of a £32million bid from Arsenal, but Inter Milan are understandably reluctant to sell the 22-year-old striker.

Icardi, who hails from Rosario in Argentina, started his football career at Barcelona, before a successful loan spell at Sampdoria, during which he netted 13 times in 19 games, saw him sign for the club permanently in 2012.

He signed for Inter for an undisclosed fee, having averaged a goal every three games at Sampdoria, and he has been a huge hit at San Siro ever since.

Last season he finished as joint top scorer in Serie A with Luca Toni, netting 22 goals, despite Inter’s disappointing eighth place finish in the league.

Inter boss Roberto Mancini will sorely miss the young hot shot if he leaves the club anytime soon.


Riyad Mahrez
With six goals in his last six Premier League games, Leicester’s Algerian winger is all-of-a-sudden one of English football’s hottest properties.

Given Arsene Wenger’s admission that he wants to add goalscorers to his squad, it is to be expected that a link with Mahrez would be made.

Leicester picked Mahrez up from Le Havre in the French second division, and he has proved one of Nigel Pearson’s most astute signings.

Mahrez scored twice against Sunderland on the opening day, and is playing very much the Arsenal way, showing a great touch, a positive attitude, and great creative vision.
It seems unlikely that Arsenal would be able to prise him away from Leicester, though, especially when Wenger is keen to add an out-and-out striker to the squad first.

Karim Benzema

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After months of speculation about his future, it looks like Karim Benzema will be staying at Real Madrid this season, leaving Wenger to look elsewhere.

Little needs to be said about Benzema. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that this 27-year-old is the real deal – a striker with pedigree, and a one-in-three international scoring record to show for it. Even Olivier Giroud wanted him at the Emirates, but it looks like it won’t be happening – or at least not before Christmas, anyway.

Victor Wanyama
With Anthony Martial of Monaco heading to Old Trafford for a rumoured £36m, and deals seemingly unlikely to be struck to tempt Gonzalo Higuain or Edison Cavani away from their respective clubs, it might be that Arsenal need to be more realistic, and more opportunistic as well.

Victor Wanyama has said he wants out of Southampton. This is a midfielder who was at the very heart of some of the best football played in the Premier League last season, and he has been badly missed by Saints boss Ronald Koeman when he has missed games through illness this season.

He could provide not just cover, but competition for Francis Coquelin, and that could be key to a successful season once injuries start to take their toll on the Arsenal squad.

Andriy Yarmolenko One of the less-talked-about players rumoured to be on Arsenal’s radar is 25-year-old Ukrainian winger Andriy Yarmolenko, who can also operate as a striker and has done so for his current club Dynamo Kiev to great effect. He has scored 19 goals for Ukraine, and would add pace and power to Arsenal’s attacking options, as well as freeing up Theo Walcott from some of his responsibilities on the wing.