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Arsenal's Linked XI: How Arsenal Could Line Up If They Actually Signed Their Transfer Targets

Arsenal's Linked XI: How Arsenal Could Line Up If They Actually Signed Their Transfer Targets
By Jack Cahill
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If you've been keeping an eye on Arsenal's transfer activity in this window you'll have noticed that Arsenal have had almost no activity in this transfer window. It's a bi-annual event; Wenger aims to sign world class players like Benzema and ends up with obscure French Ligue 2 players and Japanese teenagers.

But hey, it's Arsene Wenger, he's known for being frugal in the window. That isn't to say that he won't illicit 'Warchest' headlines from the back pages of the red tops. Eybrows have yet to return from beyond the hairlines of many a football fan after the massive signings of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. You never know, it could happen again.

So we know Wenger may open the metaphorical warchest, but the sheer amount of players they get linked with is embarrassing. Not only that, if they actually managed to sign all of them then they would end up with a squad more top heavy than Brock Lesnar. Arsenal have been short of world-class fire-power since Robin van Persie hopped on a train to Manchester and are currently rocking a Swiss-cheese defence judging by the gaping holes in it.

So, here is how Arsenal could line up if they actually signed any of their transfer targets.

Disclaimer: Before we go any further, this team is stupid. I mean, it's offensively stupid.

 

Arsenal's Linked XI

Defence

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In one of the best inter-league transfers in recent memory, Arsenal managed to sign Petr Cech from Chelsea for around £10m while lanky string-of-misery Courtiois returned to the Bridge. Anyway, it's because of Cech's beautifully quilted head head between the sticks that there have been no goalkeepers linked with The Gunners. Ah sure we'll throw a world-class striker in nets if we have to, Arsenal will have a few going spare.

Now, as mentioned, Arsenal's defence is suffering at the minute. Laurent Koscielny is struggling for fitness after coming back late from a Euros break. As well as that, injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel left Wenger with Callum Chambers and 20-year-old Rob Holding starting against Liverpool at the weekend.

It didn't exactly go well, Liverpool put 4 past them and committed Arsenal to yet another opening day loss. Well, if they had the defenders they were linked with they would literally be laughing themselves to sleep and Callum Chambers could sit comfortably on the bench thinking about Pokemon Go and Nandos. This linked XI would see Wenger switch to a back 3 of Jose Giminez, Shkodran Mustafi and ahem... Jonny Evans. (See full formation at bottom of text) 

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Jose Gimenez is the most recent defender to be linked with a move to Arsenal, and a £40m one at that. Giminez is good, very good. At 21 years old he has cemented a role in Athletico Madrid's iron clad defence. If Wenger could sign him that would be great but sure if I had cheese I'd make a cheese sandwich... Anyway he would play in the centre of a revised back three, offering a crucial solidity to a team that some naysayers would argue was imbalanced.

Of all the rumoured signings in this team, Shkodran Mustafi is the name most likely to line out for The Gunners this season. The German has been linked to Arsenal  for weeks now and he could well be kicking ball for Wenger soon.

Now to one I can poke fun at, Jonny Evans. Jonny Evans, what are you doing being linked with Arsenal? I suppose he counts as home grown for the Champions League but if Arsenal have genuine title aspirations, is the former United man really the answer? No. No is probably the answer to that but who am I to judge?

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Midfield

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Now things get interesting. Due to the lack of an amazing striker, (no offense to Olivier Giroud and his chiseled jawline) the midfield is loaded with forwards. But sure more forwards means more goals so we'll plough on.

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Let's begin with Julian Draxler. The 22-year old Germany international seems to be linked with Arsenal every time that window creaks open. I say seems to, but he actually does get linked every window. Unfortunately, as young Julian has one of the lower goal tallies of this assembled XI, he'll have to sit just in front of the back three in a crucial holding role. When the back three feel the lack of numbers Draxler will be there the sure things up and play the role he was born to play in.

Now, Mauro Icardi. Rumours about this lad have been scribed on transition year desks and toilet walls with the best of them suggesting he had met Arsene Wenger and his agent in London. The Argentine was linked to a multitude of clubs including Chelsea, and should he sign for Arsenal, an abundance of forwards would see him drop back to a deeper role where he would poach a Lampard-esque 8-12 goals a season. Grand.

On to Leicester's Algerian talisman Riyad Mahrez.  If he comes to a sudden and horrific realisation that Leicester are set to struggle to stay in the league, Mahrez could well decide that a role in the engine room of The Gunners is exactly what his career is crying out for. It seems that Wenger was set to sign Mahrez roughly 62 times over the last 2 months but a new four year contract with the Foxes could have ended all hope. Ah well sure having no hope of signing a player has never stopped clubs being linked!

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Arsenal could fork out a veritable shed of notes for their width provided by a pair of French fellas. Alexandre Lacazette and Antoine Greizmann will cost a combined £100m. Lacazette has been linked with Arsenal all summer long and then he got injured and then he scored goals and then he was linked again. Griezmann was linked after an impressive Euros and less than impressive tendency to grow dodgy moustaches.

They would have been a mere £85m but for a surcharge applied due to Wenger's predictable predilection for players of a French persuasion.

Both players are capable of playing and scoring from wider positions but that won't stop the fans unrest at the offloading of club legend Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain to Luton Town. It's a cruel world but books are best balanced.

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Forwards

In what was one the more outlandish transfer rumours of the window, Arsenal were linked with Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. That's the joke.

Jamie Vardy was linked with Arsenal all summer before a fairly public rejection saw him stay with current champions Leicester. It's a shame because you can really see him becoming what Walcott couldn't, a goal scoring striker. Vardy would sign as the nippy forward who runs off the shoulder beside the admittedly more prolific Lewandowski. They could be like a double act where it's tacitly implied that one is immensely more talented than the other. Like the Chuckle Brothers, everyone knew that Barry was the weak link but it worked.

Here's the full formation is all it's glory:

 

 

Bench: Fabien Schar, Marcel Tisserand, Simon Kjaer, Wilfried Bony, Jese Rodriguez, Karim Benzema, Alvaro Morata

Because if one of your team of defenders and strikers gets injured then logic suggests you should replace him with another.

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