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Arsenal can strike early to sign Sevilla’s Kondogbia

| 16.05.2013

In recent seasons Arsenal’s reluctance to splash out the requisite dough on their transfer targets has seen them lose out on some top names. With the Manchesters and Chelsea currently embroiled in regime change they have a chance to steal a march in the hunt for quality reinforcements.

Manchester United new broom David Moyes still has Everton’s last game of the season to contend with, whilst Man City and Chelsea must find managers to replace the departed Roberto Mancini and outgoing Rafael Benitez.

For all three clubs it’s likely to be some time before the new managers can sit down with their respective boards and directors of football with a view to earmarking potential acquisitions.

While all about them times are changing, the status quo at the Emirates remains reassuringly unchanged, giving Arsenal an opportunity to conclude some tidy business if they strike early.

The Gunners’ indecisiveness when it comes to transfers is legendary, having been close to signing a firmament of stars including Didier Drogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovich in the past.

With a reported £70m burning a hole in Arsene Wenger’s Puffa jacket pocket, now is the time for the Emirates suits to signing players that might ordinarily be snaffled their by richer, more decisive rivals.

A goalkeeper who can command his area and lacks Wojciech Szczesny’s tendency to parry shots back into the path of onrushing strikers could help to eliminate the kind of errors which have Gooners calling for defensive reinforcements in spite of their team boasting the Premier League’s second best defensive record.

Julio Cesar proved himself one of the signings of the season and will doubtless be keen for a move after QPR’s relegation. He could be snapped up quickly with Liverpool and Spurs already circling.

However, the kind of player Arsenal have lacked the most this term is neither a centre half, nor a centre forward, but a tackling defensive midfielder.

Mikel Arteta or occasionally Jack Wilshere may “hold” for the Gunners at present, but Arteta is no tackler and the England man is wasted deep. Arsene Wenger is thought to be lining up Sevilla’s Geoffrey Kondogbia for the role, but the Gunners boss has been cagey on the subject, telling Talksport “everyone’s after him at the moment”.

At a time when their rivals for his signature both at home and across Europe – thought to include Man City and Real Madrid – are not in a position to strike quickly, Arsenal would be ideally positioned to sign the imposing Frenchman. The Gunners are currently 16/1 in the betting for the 2013/14 title Premier League.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Thomas Reynolds