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The What Could Have Been XI: An Unbelievable Team Of Players Linked With Arsenal This Summer

zola higuain chelsea

Arsenal fans have endured another frustrating summer, with the club seemingly doing little to improve their title chances. We at Pundit Arena have gathered an entire first-team of players that the club could sign ahead of the new season.

We’ve chosen to be old-fashioned with a four four two formation deployed, leaving Gunners fans to ponder how these stars would fit into their team.

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[tie_slide]Jack Butland

Stoke City v Newcastle United - Premier League

Butland has been tipped as the long-term replacement for Petr Cech between the sticks, and would be a wonderful signing for the Gunners. Asmir Begovic’s decision to deputise for Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea resulted in the goalkeeper’s promotion from the substitutes bench to the first-team, and Butland grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Stoke City’s reliable guard made the third most saves in the Premier League with 102 despite his season ending in March, whilst also keeping ten clean sheets. The 23-year-old is just recovering from the injury sustained against Germany on international duty, but he would be a wonderful future replacement for Petr Cech.[/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Elseid HysajRomania v Albania - Group A: UEFA Euro 2016

The Napoli right-back was one of Albania’s outstanding players at the European Championships, so it was no surprise to see the 22-year-old linked with a move to the Gunners. Hysaj enjoyed an outstanding season for Napoli in Serie A prior to the tournament.

Quick, strong and with an enormous capacity for stamina, Hysaj would have been the ideal signing for Arsenal if Hector Bellerin left the club. Alas, rumours died down, and it looks like Hysaj will remain a Napoli player. [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Kalidou Koulibaly Arsenal

The 25-year-old also plays for Napoli, and his name has been associated with a move to the Gunners for the majority of the summer. The Senegalese centre-back stands over most of the strikers he faces at 6ft 3in, and has been a constant in Maurizio Sarri’s team.

The need for Koulibaly is dire with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker both in their thirties. Arsenal have reportedly been offered his services for £37m, so a deal is not necessarily dead. [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Marquinhos
Chelsea v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round of 16

The player’s brother claimed two weeks ago that the Paris Saint-Germain defender is being courted by Arsenal, and it would be a move that would suit all parties. Marquinhos barely played last season due to the relationship between David Luiz and Thiago Silva, and he needs to revitalise his career.

However, Unai Emery has replaced Laurent Blanc at the club in Paris so he may see a future for the Brazilian. Former Roma defender Nicolás Burdisso has described Marquinhos as “a little phenomenon” and likened him to his Paris team-mate Silva. [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Ricardo Rodriguez

Arsenal

The Wolfsburg left-back has already told his club he wishes to leave the German side this summer, and that it would be ‘exciting’ to join Swiss team-mate Granit Xhaka at Arsenal. Rodriguez was easily the best left-back in the Bundesliga in 2014/15, and still impressed his suitors last season despite Wolfsburg’s underachieving finish of eighth.

Rodriguez’s release clause expired at the end of June but with the player intent on departing, Arsenal would be foolish not to make every effort to sign him. [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Riyad Mahrez

Arsenal

Like the move for Koulibaly, attempts to sign the Leicester City star are not yet buried, but Claudio Ranieri’s comments on Sky Sports that Mahrez wishes to stay with the Foxes will disgruntle Arsenal fans. Nevertheless, a move to one of the Premier League’s biggest clubs could tempt the Algerian wizard, who can almost definitely assure Mahrez that Champions League football will be at the Emirates for the foreseeable future.

The wide man scored seventeen and provided eleven goals in a successful quest for the Premier League title, and could jump ship for pastures new. [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Moussa Sissoko

Arsenal

Sissoko is adamant of a return to the Premier League after describing Arsenal as a ‘beautiful’ club. The 26-year-old struggled with inconsistency for Newcastle as they were relegated from the top flight, but starred for France in the European Championships.

Rafa Benitez’s side are demanding a huge fee of £35m, but Newcastle are expected to lower their demands as the new season approaches. Arsene Wenger is a fan of the midfielder, believing that the Frenchman is a ‘remarkable’ player. [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Sofiane Boufal

Arsenal

We reported in June that Arsenal are one of three Premier League clubs interested in Boufal, but the attacking midfielder’s club Lille are concerned that no club will meet their price demands for the Parisien-born MoroccanThe 22-year-old had an operation in Doha in mid-May for a meniscus tear and is due to have another procedure in the middle of September, which means that he would be missing for at least a few Premier League games should he join.

However, Boufal, who can also operate as right-winger, is incredibly talented and Lille need a sale to ward off the French financial watchdog the DNCG.  [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Arda Turan

Arsenal

The Independent reported today that Barcelona are willing to sell the Turkish captain for £20m. Turan turned down a move to Arsenal in the summer of 2015 in order to make a move to the Catalan giants, where he spent six months unavailable due to Barca’s transfer ban.

However, once he eventually made his debut Turan struggled to break into Luis Enrique’s team, making just nine starts. It would be interesting to see how Turan would fit into the Gunners side, but it is likely Arsene Wenger will focus on alternative positions. [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Mauro Icardi

Arsenal

Icardi’s agent, his wife Wanda Nara, has already confirmed that Arsenal are one of the teams interested in the forward’s signature, and fans received a boost this morning in the race to sign the Argentinian from an Italian source.

Icardi is a firm fan favourite at Inter, but he has no release clause and Arsenal are ready to make an offer between €45-50 million euros to Inter Milan to bring the 23-year-old to London. Out of all Arsenal’s transfer targets in the forward department, Icardi is looking like the most likely signing at the moment. [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Gonzalo Higuain

Arsenal

Well, we couldn’t leave out Arsenal’s favourite striking target, now could we? Three years after the club failed to persuade Higuain to join from Real Madrid, it seems that the 28-year-old has snubbed yet another move to the club with a desire to move to Juventus.

However, the Old Lady have refused to meet the Argentine’s gargantuan release clause, so Arsene Wenger has another opportunity to strike while the iron is hot. Higuain has scored 71 goals in 94 Napoli games, and is the undisputed best forward in Italy. [/tie_slide]

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. If you would like to join the team, drop us an email at write@punditarena.com.