Arsenal had a brutally disappointing January transfer window, failing to find a suitable replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who joined Barcelona on a free transfer from the Gunners. While there was plenty of activity in terms of outgoings, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles (loaned to Roma), Folarin Balogun (loaned to Middlesbrough), Sead Kolasinac (joined Marseille for free), Pablo Mari (loaned to Udinese), Caleb Chambers (joined Aston Villa), and former captain Aubameyang all departing north London, supporters have been left disappointed by the lack of incomings.
There was early optimism that 22-year-old hotshot Dusan Vlahovic would join Juventus from Fiorentina, but his obstinate representatives refused to pick up the phone to technical director Edu, and the Serbian finally joined Juventus.
A late move for Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, who has been observed in London recently, has been suggested, while Espanyol’s Raul de Tomas is claimed to have received a phone call from Arsenal.
While the dearth of incomings has been a source of aggravation, the outgoings are expected to leave Arsenal in significantly better financial shape in the long run due to the money saved on wages.
Even though the transfer window is no longer open, teams may still investigate the free-agent market if they so want.
Of course, that is unlikely to happen, especially when it comes to Arsenal, but Express Sport has hypothetically evaluated four possible options that might perhaps enhance Mikel Arteta’s ranks if he so desires.
It’s a bittersweet transaction, but Koscielny, a longtime Arsenal favourite, is now a free agent after Bordeaux released him.
His legs may be gone, but Koscielny has never been known for his speed; instead, he was previously regarded as one of the greatest centre-backs in the Premier League for his calming presence and game reading.
Arsenal might use some extra defensive cover after the loss of Chambers and Mari.
Undoubtedly the best free agent on the market right now, serial winner Diego Costa is fresh off the back of glory in the Brazilian top-flight with Atletico Mineiro.
At 33, it’s clear Costa’s best days are now behind him but his experience and desire to win at all costs will always make him a worthwhile option for any manager.
Arsenal have been linked with the Spaniard in recent months but opted against any deal, yet with Aubameyang now gone, Arteta is light on the ground in attack.
Should Alexandre Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah pick up an injury, Arsenal are on the brink of crisis at centre-forward.
Costa is not the player he once was but as a Premier League winner, he would surely have something to offer permitting his questionable disciplinary could be controlled.
It’s the one all Arsenal fans want to see happen – that surely would have happened by now if it was ever going to.
Wilshere has now been training with the club for several months and he was still overlooked even after a mini-crisis in midfield at the start of January.
Nonetheless, he has been away in Dubai training with the team, keeping himself fit as he waits for the chance to embark on a new challenge.
While Wilshere is quite clearly on the decline, he knows what it means to wear the famous Arsenal shirt and for that reason, he would be guaranteed to give his all.
It’s another sentimental deal but former Arsenal favourite Koscielny is now a free agent after being released by Bordeaux.
His legs may have gone but Koscielny has never been blessed with pace, instead, it was his calming presence and reading of the game that once saw him recognised as one of the Premier League’s best centre-backs.
After losing Chambers and Mari, Arsenal could do with some extra cover at the heart of defence.
Arteta knows Koscielny well and if he helped Arsenal out until the end of the season, even his presence around the training ground, helping the younger players could be beneficial, regardless of playing time.
The former Newcastle left-back has now left Galatasaray after one year at the club but at 28, he still has plenty more to give before he potentially returns to the MLS.