Theo Walcott may yet pledge his future to the Arsenal cause and extend his contract past the end of this season coming, but if he doesn't, and pulls an RVP-style exit then here's five players that Wenger could sign to replace him...
Steven Jovetic (Fiorentina and Montenegro)
Football manager fans will know the name Steven Jovetic well, as the La Viola star has been a staple signing of video game managers for years. However, recently the press have picked up on the Montenegrin's abilities and he has been linked with a £23m move to the Premier League. Supposedly Chelsea and Arsenal are both interested, and Jovetic could prove to be just the tonic for the North Londonder's if Walcott does depart.
He will be best known on these shores (to normal people that don't spend their A-levels playing FM) as the player that ripped Liverpool apart in the Champions League with an exquisite double salvo. But things have changed for Jovetic since 2009. He's shed his Yogi-bear like mane for a slick, short number, and returned from a season spent on the sidelines to score 14 goals in 27 appearances for Fiorentina last term. A creative spirit that can play anywhere across the midfield, Jovetic will score goals as well as assist. He's only 22 but would represent a significant upgrade on the occassionaly prone-to-dally Theo, and his stardust would soften the blow of losing RVP too.
Plus, he's a little bit mental, (see video below) which is always interesting...
Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow and Russia)
Dzagoev justified his hype from the off for Russia this summer and even led the goalscoring charts early on. In the first game against Czech Republic, Dzagoev ironically lined up on the other flank to Arsenal's Arshavin, and grabbed the plaudits for himself by snatching a brace. In Russia's next game against Poland, Dzagoev scored again, this time showing his versatility with a headed effort. The Russian was promptly linked with Arsenal all over the place. And all those Gunners fans who lambast Walcott for his final ball and inability to find the net regularly would have been licking their lips at the prolificness of Dzagoev. And at 22-years-of-age he really looked a prospect. Then Greece beat Russia and blocked their path into the last eight and little has since been said of the boy from Beslan. If Arshavin is to return to his homeland this summer, why don't we propose a swap deal with CSKA involving Dzagoev? ￡10m + the meerkat would be an acceptable place to start I would suggest. This one has blown cold for now but could well be revisited.
He's shed his Yogi-bear like mane for a slick, short number, and returned from a season spent on the sidelines to score 14 goals in 27 appearances for Fiorentina last term
Clint Dempsey (Fulham and U.S.A.)
Arsenal fans can often be snobby types when it comes to signings, and I have only too often muttered 'he's not good enough for us' when it comes to less technically gifted individuals being linked with the Gunners. Dempsey is a player that would probably fall into this category for some people, but the stats simply state that the American is a midfielder who scores goals at a rate that no one in our squad can match. His 17 goals for Fulham in the league last year placed him joint fourth in the goalscoring charts, and he is capable of finding the net against the best. His beautifully weighted chipped effort versus Juventus in the Europa League will live long in the memory, and he is handy in the air too. At 29 he would perhaps represent a short-term solution, but is available this summer for less than ￡10m. Reports suggest the vultures are circling, and if Wenger is to abandon his much favoured youth policy when it comes to transfers he will have to do so quickly as Dempsey has been heavily linked with Liverpool. A long shot, but Dempsey has proven he is worth a risk.
André Schürrle (Leverkusen and Germany)
This one comes slightly out of left field, and given Germany possess an abundance of attacking talent that have been linked with Arsenal, Schürrle's name is slightly random. However, with Marco Reus having agreed a return to Dortmund already and Mario Gotze likely to be out of our price range, Leverkusen's star could be the man to target. His solitary Euro 2012 performance against Greece in the quarter's was impressive, and Schürrle was busy throughout and looked comfortable on the right flank. Lukas Podolski could do the ground work in selling Arsenal to his international team-mate, and we'd have a number of not-needed squad members to use as makeweights. If Leverkusen like the sound of Squillaci, Denilson or Vela (highly doubtful, but anyway) a deal could be on...
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