What Do Gunners Need Before Window Closes?
Arsenal could boost their Premier League title chances by signing a holding midfielder and star striker before the transfer window closes, says Charlie Nicholas.
The Gunners’ shock opening weekend defeat to West Ham cast doubts over Arsene Wenger's decision to make goalkeeper Petr Cech his only major summer signing so far.
While Arsenal bounced back with victory at Crystal Palace on Sunday, Sky Sports pundit Nicholas believes his former team can still strengthen in the middle of the park and add some stardust to their attacking options.
“Arsenal are strong and I've tipped them to win the Premier League but I would still like to see them sign another holding midfield player,” said the former Arsenal striker.
“Francis Coquelin will be walking a tight-rope every week because of the way he plays and he'll pick up suspensions, so another defensive midfielder would be good. Wenger's got Mikel Arteta, who can do a job there, and he's also got a couple of young kids who he wants to fill that role, but I think he'll let Mathieu Flamini go.
“Also, if a top, top player comes along like Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, I would take him in a heart-beat.
“However, I don't think Wenger will go into the market.”
Sevilla defensive midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak has been linked with Arsenal – and the Europa League winner was reportedly watched by Gunners representatives in his club’s narrow Super Cup defeat to Barcelona. The Poland international has described his style of play as “very aggressive” and has also operated at centre-back in the past.
Throughout the summer there has been speculation Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema could be on his way to Arsenal – but so far the French forward seems set to stay at Real Madrid, with boss Rafa Benitez detailing to the press his plans to help the player score over 25 goals this season. Benzema’s quality is undoubted – he's scored 124 goals in the past five seasons for Real Madrid – and the France international would certainly bring star quality to Arsenal's frontline. Persuading Real to part with him seems less straightforward.
An alternative to Benzema could be PSG forward Edinson Cavani. The Uruguay international has been named as a key Arsenal target by the French press and after scoring 31 goals in 53 appearances for PSG last season, would be an exciting addition to the Premier League. Cavani has been deployed as part of a front three in the French capital, suggesting the pacey, powerful attacker could slot into Wenger's preferred formation behind Olivier Giroud.