As January approaches, there are three names that are starting to emerge consistently. Not a week goes by without someone, somewhere mentioning Denis Suárez, Cristian Pavón or Miguel Almirón,
Even after discounting the ludicrous Özil/Sanchez swap as no more than a conversation between two inebriated reporters, rumours fly.
Each day there’s a steady stream of possible, probable and slightly ridiculous suggestions associated with Arsenal’s pending transfer plans. This indicates that there’s some truth amid the general mist generated by the sports reporters in their respective papers.
Let’s ignore Almirón for the moment and concentrate on the other two candidates – Pavón and Suárez – who are in direct competition for the outgoing Aaron Ramsey’s slot.
It was reported that Pavón was available for between £18 and £25 million, but it now looks as if Boca Juniors will not part with their star turn unless the sum is close to £40 million, which is quite a price hike.
Suárez, currently with Barcelona, is said to be available for under half that amount and there is some desire to offload the player quickly after his move to the Catalan giants turned sour.
Both are in their early 20’s and fit Emery’s plans to reshape the current squad, but with a reported £40 million available in transfer funds and with a need for a genuine central defender, Pavón and his valuation could be a real problem.
Emery could reinforce the midfield and defence without exhausting the budget, allowing him to use the remainder in the summer.
or he could shell out the big bucks for Pavón.
The defence needs urgent reinforcement and if the Argentine international does arrive, the Spanish coach would have to promote an academy prospect to the first team, wait for the return of injured and suspended players or rely on shuffling the pack and putting those available in unfamiliar positions.
Pavón would certainly have his work cut out for him at Arsenal anyway.
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Emery has already used Granit Xhaka in defence and although it wasn’t a complete disaster, it wasn’t a roaring success either.
Fans are slightly nervous at that particular scenario, having seen Wenger experiment in the past without giving the players technical instructions or support, something which is less likely with Emery in situ.
Miguel Almirón, who currently plys his trade in the MLS with Atlanta, is also high on the list of recurring names and some believe that a deal had already agreed for somewhere between £8.5 and £11 million.
However, the latest valuation was said to be £30 million and if a deal is not already in place, then a move seems unlikely.
The 25 year old is an exciting alternative to the outgoing Aaron Ramsey but they are vastly contrasting players. The Paraguayan is an attacking midfielder but enjoys close ball control, dinking past defenders and sprinting forward toward the box.
Ramsey is more of a box to box player, who involves himself in the build up and runs into space at the last minute.
Having box binged on endless hours of footage, you can clearly see the attraction for the head coach and he will add a new dynamic to Arsenal’s ongoing development under the Spaniard.
Sven Mislintat, who was instrumental in securing the services of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno and Mattéo Guendouzi, is probably watching a plethora of talent and making furious notes.
When you only have £40 million to spend, you need someone who is going make it stretch, without compromising on quality.
Mislintat may yet be key to any transfer plans, which are more than likely, already underway.