Much has been said about the futures of Arsenal superstars Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Both players are out of contract at the end of the season and talks have not progressed as well as some have hoped. Sanchez is already thought to have his sights set on a switch to Manchester City, with a January move possible. Ozil, on the other hand, does not have a clear-cut suitor. Although Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and even Besiktas are reportedly interesting in securing the German’s signature.
While Sanchez leaving the Gunners is almost a certainty, a new Ozil deal is not quite out of the picture just yet. However, assuming the team’s dynamic duo will not be back next year, there are some qualified potential replacements of the two. Let’s take a look at six possible signings (three for each player) that would ease the pressure of losing Ozil and Sanchez.
The most obvious out of these picks, Lemar was nearly a Gunner on deadline day. Arsenal reportedly lodged a £90 million bid for the France international prior to the summer transfer market closing a few months ago. While Monaco were willing to work with the Gunners on the transfer, Lemar supposedly decided to remain with the Ligue 1 club for the moment.
The 21-year-old versatile winger/attacking midfielder has one goal and three assists in 14 total matches so far during the 2017/18 season. While not exactly a like-for-like replacement for Sanchez, Lemar is surely talented enough to make the switch to the Premier League. His dribbling, vision, and elusiveness make him one of the brightest young creative players in all of Europe.
Draxler is another player that has previously been linked with a move to Arsenal as well. Although many assumed the winger would be forced out of Paris Saint-Germain’s lineup when wonderkid Kylian Mbappe joined the Parisians from Monaco during the summer, Draxler has featured more centrally for PSG this season. A lack of playing time could force a move, but the 24-year-old German has started seven of the club’s last eight league matches.
Nevertheless, if things change throughout the campaign and his playing time fades as the season progresses, Arsenal would certainly come calling. Manager Arsene Wenger has been a fan of Draxler for some time now, and the Germany international has previously been compared to former Gunner Robin van Persie. Draxler would be a solid addition to the Gunners and would also seemingly cost less than the aforementioned Lemar.
The 24-year-old Carrasco may not be a household name such as Lemar or Draxler, but the Belgium international is an extremely talented winger. Compiling three goals and three assists in just around 500 La Liga minutes this season, Carrasco certainly isn’t the issue with Atletico’s relatively slow start. The winger rushed onto the scene with his Champions League final goal back in 2014 and has steadily improved ever since.
At 5’11”, the lanky Carrasco would fit Wenger’s latest push for a more physical team (think recent additions of Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi, and Sead Kolasinac). And a deal for the winger could help bring fan-favorite Diego Simeone to the Emirates once Wenger’s current deal expires. It has been reported recently that Carrasco might leave Spain, and the player even suggested that he may have a €100 million release clause. That is certainly a lot of money, but the Gunners could do a lot worse than the Atleti winger.
Fekir would arguably be the best realistic option to replace Mesut Ozil. The Lyon attacking midfielder is electric on the ball and has racked up an impressive 11 goals and three assists in 11 league matches this season. Averaging a goal every 82 minutes from midfield is special. Fekir is also close with Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette. The two were former teammates at Lyon, and still are with the France national team.
Another positive for Gunner fans is the fact that Fekir’s father has come out to say that his son would be keen on transferring to the north London club. “If he leaves, it will be for Arsenal. It’s the only club that can enable him to progress, with Arsene Wenger,” claimed the player’s father. He also added that “[Nabil] will not go to Manchester City to sit on the bench.” Fekir would be a fantastic buy for the Gunners and would help ease any loss of Ozil or Sanchez.
Heavily linked with a move to Arsenal during the summer, Forsberg has been an absolute steal for RB Leipzig. Costing just €3.7 million two years ago, the midfielder/winger has managed to score 19 goals and add 35 assists during his time with the German club. It is safe to say that Forsberg will now demand significantly more money.
The Sweden international was perhaps the biggest reason for Leipzig’s rise to the Champions League following the 2016/17 campaign. Forsberg led the Bundesliga with an incredible 20 assists on the year (eight more than any other player). Though there may be better fits for Arsenal in particular, Forsberg is a very capable player. Manchester United are also said to be monitoring the player as well.
Alright, Goretzka is not really an attacking midfielder nor a winger, but he is an extremely promising young player that could just finds a way to score goals. A natural central midfielder, Goretzka is turning into one of the most prized possessions in the world. The 22-year-old player has seven goals in his last 10 matches for both club and country, including this back-heel goal for Germany last month.
Much like Carrasco, Goretzka would bring size and strength to a team that has been ridiculed recently for a lack of “cojones.” Wenger could even be looking past his tenure at the club and sign young players that could help his successor at the helm. Goretzka is also friends with new signing Sead Kolasinac, as they were Schalke teammates prior to the Bosnian’s departure to London this summer. The Gunners will have plenty of competition for the German’s signature though, with Barcelona, Liverpool, and Tottenham said to be interested in the youngster as well.
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