5 potential Arsenal summer signings

"Pick me, Mr Wenger!"Greetings all and welcome.

There’s only two posts to go now before I go on a bit of a break, something I’ve been looking forward to for a little while now. Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick hit the back of the net, to be completely honest.

Today I take a look at some of the players who could be headed to Arsenal before the start of next season. Using last week’s reader survey as a guide – where 96% of you indicated that we need a new centre-back and 80% a new central-midfielder – I have specifically targeted those two areas. As such, there are not David Villa’s on this list. 

Bare in mind that some of these players are not simply the best in the world in their positions, they are a mix-and-match of who I think we need, who is realistically available and who has been linked to the club before. They’re in no particular order and if you want to make a comment on them or suggest some alternatives then I certainly encourage you to do so. Here we go…

1. Xabi Alonso (Liverpool)
The best endorsement of Xabi Alonso’s abilities as a footballer came when Cesc Fabregas recommended him to the club. Alonso is not the hard-as-nails midfielder that a lot of people want, but he is tougher than he looks and would link up superbly with his Spanish friend in the middle. It’s clear that Alonso is a Liverpool favourite and highly unlikely to leave after staying last season, but if we could get him it would be an ideal signing in the midfield. 

2. Naldo (Werder Bremen)
If I had a choice of any reasonably-priced central defender in Europe I would choose Naldo. At 6’5 the Brazilian is a giant and dominates in the air as a result. He’s a bit more Johan Djourou than Nemanja Vidic in the way that he attacks the ball, but has excellent European experience and consistently stands out in a Werder Bremen side that focuses on defending about as much as Arsenal do. A terrific player, a dominating presence and at 26 still has a number of years left in the tank.

3. Lorik Cana (Marseille)
I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about Lorik Cana but he has to be considered if only for his hard-tackling reputation and the fact that he captained Marseille to a second-place finish in the Ligue 1 this season. He is still very much a YouTube phenomenon in terms of what is actually known about his ability, but his ties to French football and leadership qualities make him an enticing prospect. It might be worth asking Samir Nasri his opinion too, seeing as though he played with him at Marseille for a number of years.

4. Brede Hangeland (Fulham)
Another one that I don’t know a whole lot about despite him being linked to the club every couple of days. According to his stats Brede Hangeland is another 6’5 juggernaut and his inclusion in most intelligent journalists Premiership team of the season suggests he is a player very much worth considering. At 27 he’s not young but a clear understanding of English football and the fact that he lives in London would see him settle in quite well. 

5. Mathieu Flamini (AC Milan)
Is the possibility of Mathieu Flamini returning to Arsenal next season really that bizarre? With Emmanuel Adebayor looking to make an exit and AC Milan one of his fondest admirers, surely there is a possibility that Flamini could be lured back to England with the prospect of more first-team football and the rekindling of his very special partnership with Cesc Fabregas. I know it’s unlikely, but if there is any midfielder in the world who could improve our team it is Flamini and I don’t think for a second that he wouldn’t be welcomed back under the right circumstances.

So there you go: Messrs Naldo and Flamini please, Arsene. Make it happen if you can or make sure some very similar signings walk through the door. 

Anyway, I’ll speak to you tomorrow in my final post before I take a break. Miss it if you dare…

Have your say on the potential Arsenal signings by leaving a comment.



  1. I really wish arsene goes for carvalho to strenghten the defence. I don’t think we need flamini or any other central medfielder…we have enough in song, denilson and even nasri…is only a matter of belief and perhaps the chance. Our concern n troubles at the defence which wouldn’t have been without injuries to gallas n toure. Thanx

  2. Flamini and Brede are al I humbly ask for now. Man City are begining to look scary but I know that the race isn’t for the swift. I want to see us successful next reason and I know Wenger could do far more than that.

  3. sorry man but none of those are coming to arsenal…only wenger knows no one else trust me

  4. So it looks like the defender on Arsene’s list is Thomas Vermaeelen of Ajax. Seems a good choice but was it not Ajax’s defence this season that allowed them to finish way off course?
    YaYa Toure would have been excellent for either of the 2 positions mentioned in the article. Would love to get Flamini back but can’t see it happening.
    I reckon we should have made an offer to Milan for Yohann Gourcuff who is a compltelt different type of player but would have been another great attacking option. I believe bordeaux got him for about 15mil and when he leaves them after next season/after the world cup – he will be worth in excess of 30 million.


  5. The really trouble in arsenal is centre defender…i think the best choice is signing colocini from newcastle…he has a lot of experience n can success in arsenal…in addition,newcastle is relegated from bpl…it makes easier to bid..

  6. i dont think get flamini back is the best way…we need centre back not centre midfilder…

  7. Brede already come out and said he dont want to leave fulham…which suggests to me he aint got da bottle 4 Arsenal. Xabi is a liverpool firm fav, but if he going anywhere its real madrid… Could we really afford 20 mil to get him?.. I’d hope so but dont think so! and thats the bid from Real. Flamini..? No chance! as a club when have we ever gone back to a player we’ve let go…? Never! We had da chance to resign Anelka he wanted da move but Wenger was like non! non! Only way a player comes back to our club is as a coach or a scout. So really only possibility out of the names put forward are Naldo which I’d personally welcome and Lorik Cana, man he’s a monster but if we get him, trust me someone leaving from our midfield? which would probably hurt us. Coz Cana’s timing definately gonna t8k t9m to adjust to prem league he’d get more cards than Viera did, but boy would the other teams be scared of him with the exception of probably Bolton…

  8. Well we’d certainly like some of them. I think Arsene often goes for the guys no one has ever heard of but perhaps a bit of Premiership experience would be better this time – and I don’t mean Silvestre like last summer! Hangeland fits the bill and won’t cost the earth. He is the TYPE of defender we need to compliment either Toure, Gallas or Djorou.

    Lorik Cana is a youtube sensation that hardly anyone who posts on Arsenal boards has actually seen play live or in full tv matches. I’d love to hear what people who’ve actually seen him play think?!

  9. Howabout Lucas Neil who has just quit The Hammers?
    A tough Ozzie. Talented. Very experienced. Total defender type. A leader.
    He’s 31 which I know is pushing it – but less so for a defender than an an attacking player and these Ozzie’s are all super-fit you know. He’d be great for guiding the younger players. Not expensive. And he broke jamie Carragher’s leg so there’s a bonus. Anyone?

  10. Zapata and Cana would be nice. Zapata is young (22) but has truckloads of Italian experience, this lad is a monster. And Cana, we know he’s a hard prick, exactly what we need in CM.

    If not those 2, Hangeland and Toulalan will do.

  11. Hangeland is a monster at the back, and even heads in a few goals at the other end too. I’d love to see him at the club, he’s instant experience and surprisingly good on the ball. A bit Rio Ferdinand-esque. I’d welcome him with open arms, though he’s ruled out leaving Fulham. But what players tell the truth these days anyway!

    I’d love Flamini back in the side as well. No time needed to acclimatise, both the club and the player would relish the opportunity to pair up again I reckon. Ironically Flamini has been getting games at Milan, but at Left Back. The same reason he threw a hissy fit at Arsenal.

    Would obviously love Alonso. Hangeland and either Alonso or Flamini would make me very happy indeed. Looks like Vermaeelen is a more likely target though. Not just on today’s news, we were linked to him a couple of times in the close season. Naldo is immense on Football Manager!

    Don’t forget all the other players we’ve been linked with so far: Gary Cahill, Lescott, Adam Johnson, *insert every young french midfielder ever*. I love the English press.

  12. @ TDP seen Cana play 7 times and I know dats nuffing but I loved how he gets about and on opponents case! After a few tackles, opponents jus give up da ball when he coming at them! very funny to see. Also with da gravity of his tackles you’d think he’d pick up loads of injuries but he seems indestructible very solid and he smiles after the most horrific clashes. He’s not a footballer hes a heavy goods train lol but one our club shud catch! Also the amount of ground he covers is unbelievable nonstop chasing. I believe Wenger is more than capable of adding more to Cana’s game.

  13. Hangeland has not only the height but the PL experience to make him a very attractive proposiotion – I think we would have to beat of the opposition with a stick for his signature

    Alonso has had such a good season I think even the famously stubborn Rafa would not flog him now and if he did it would be to Madrid

    Mikel Arteta however, though injuured at the moment might be a player worth testing Bill Kenwright’s greed on – again a very experienced PL player – and uncapped by Spain !

    Well Mikel if you want to have any chance of going top Soputh Africa you need Champions League football ….. And I know just the club to offer that opportunity

  14. Crikey, I just looked at a video of Cana. What an animal. I think in 95% of the challenges he missed the ball completely and just took out the player. He leads with his arm in the jump and just clatters into other players. How many times has he been sent off in his career? I don’t think his style of play would ever see him on the pitch in England.

    I don’t know if it was supposed to be a tribute video but he was also skying the ball from far out, squaring up to referees and being really dirty. Not sure I’d want him at Arsenal. We need a warrior not a cheat!

  15. How i wish arsene signs Henry, Pires, Ljunberg, Bergkamp, Vieira, Gilberto, Campbell, Cole and Lehmann…

    Then we will go unbeaten again… Woooooo HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Flamini coming back – although highly unlikely – wouldn’t be that bad an idea for all parties. Obviously he’d be welcomed back by the fans and he’s played with many of the team already as well as knowing the ‘Arsenal Way’ of playing. Plus of course he’s also familiar with a lot of the opposition.
    From his point of view if things aren’t working out at Milan it’d be a chance to revitalise his career. He’d go straight into the first team.
    I don’t know what sort of money Milan would want for him but in these tough times they might be keen to take a lowish fee just to get the cash.
    Funnily enough I notice the pic of him on Wikipedia is still in his Arsenal kit.

  17. I’m pretty sure Hangeland scored one of the goals of the season for Fulham…against Tottenham if I recall correctly. Absolute cracker.

    Would love to have Flamini back.

    If anything, I would prefer a hard as nails Vidic style defender than anyone like Djourou. I know you like Djourou SF, but to be honest, I don’t think he is strong enough. Perhaps Tony Adams might be convinced to play again!

  18. One to watch-Felipe Melo from Fiorentina. Is turning heads and we have been linked to him before…

  19. I will like to ask you guys a question, my question is, is Wenger read all these post at all? if he doesn’t why wasting our time on these type of discussion.

    Anyway, i love all the players that our friend mentioned, but man, don’t expect any of them in arsenal, because Wenger does not look for the area we are looking at.

    My point is, i we love it, if any our players remain in the club this season, and if wenger can buy at least two players, centre defenders, that is all we need. If you guys could go back and re-watch all our matches, most of the goals we conceded was through free kicked and corner kicked, so we don’t have outstanding defenders who can compete with a ball on the air, and this is not a new problem, it has been there since TONY ADAMS, DIXIONS AND CO, left the club nothing has been done on the probs. Hopely, our manager can recognize the problem this time around, not just a player buy a strong defender and contender. Thank u all.

  20. Vermaeelen isn’t imposing enough. I’ve watched him a number of times last season. Good, but nothing special, or as Wenger would say: “A talent, but not a special talent”.

  21. My problem with this discussion like of the contributors said is that idoubt if wenger reads it and again does not care one bit about the agony arsenal fans go through every trophyless season. Wenger, please have mercy on your fans; get us all or some of the players mentioned by the discussants. I still believe that given the right assurances flamini could return to arsenal. I would also appeal to the board to give wenger enough cash but for everything we only call wenger’s name. The board too should be spoken to. PLEASE HELP WENGER TO HELP THE FANS AND THE CLUB.

  22. Flamini? Hmmmm…. When contemplating similar hiring situations, my boss often says “I don’t date old girlfriends.”

  23. Arsenal basically need two central defenders, a hoding midfielder, and a great striker and a finisher, the likes of Fabio of Sevilla, Torres of liverpool,

  24. @dialsquare

    Thanks for the info, nice to finally hear from someone who has actually seen Cana play rather than the bandwagon jumpers who have only seen a youtube compilation

  25. SOLA – it is not correct that most of the goals we’ve conceded are from set pieces! I don’t understand why people (especially commentators) are always saying that we’re so bad on set pieces…

    The Premiership stats for this season doesn’t lie; Arsenal have conceded only 4 goals on set pieces, meaning 12.5% of the total number of conceded goals.
    That puts us second best in the league, only beaten by West Ham – who has conceded 3 goals, resulting in a percentage of 8.1%.

    That being said, I couldn’t agree more with you that we need to strengthen our central defense. I reckon Hangeland would be a great signing – he has said that he wants to stay at Fulham but wants a new contract. Let’s keep an eye on those negotiations, and hope for the best!

  26. The words ” I want to stay” as we all know can mean absolutely anything

    The other great unknown at the Cottage is how broke Mo Fayed is these days ??

  27. Naldo also has a really powerful shot, so he could help us scoring goals from set pieces where we haven´t been that great this season.

  28. If we all are realistic and look at our team this season and the past, there are only one position that Wenger needs and will strengthen, unless somebody leaves this summer. Midfield is really crowded and strikers are good enough. So, that leaves the defense. He is not going to buy a goalie unless it is a backup to Almunia. Therefore, I suggest we should focus on the central defense. I see some of you even suggest more attacking midfielders and I don’t know where you’re planning to play them. We can only play 11 players at a time.

    I believe with the right line up Song probably grows into midfield defensive position. And there were good signs last season to suggest that. We should leave buying and accumulating players, just for the sake of it, to Chelsea and now Man City. Brede seems to be a great addition if we can sign him. I have a feeling it would be just one or two be signed this summer. And that’s okey provided the right position and players.

  29. Oh, one more thing. Did anyone of you watched the final German league game b/n Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg? If you did, you could have seen what Grafite, Wolfsburg’s striker from Brazil, did to his fellow Brazilian defender Naldo of Bremen in that game. I know Grafite is the top scorer in the Bundesliga, but he skinned him a couple of times really good.

  30. apparently we will sign thomas vermaelan for 10 million. Other than that who knows what wenger has in mind, i know i’ve never guessed one of his signings before!

  31. I’d love to see Flamini back. Since he left, I’ve always hoped that somehow he’d return, but I put it past Arsene to take him back. Hopefully he can come back this summer..

  32. @ goonerc – I have heard that we have bidded 10 mil for him but not heard that Ajax have accepted, dont know much about him so cant say if its a good signing or not. I would love Naldo, strong, great in the air, bullet free kicks, european experience, only 26, YES YES YES. Flamini, he would probably be my dream signing!!!!

  33. also, do we really need larik cana? he looks like he would just take us out of the running for the fairplay table and lose us some games

  34. I did see Marseilles games on the telly and my impression of Cana is of a bigger Roy Keane. He got a lot of aggression though but maybe because he’s the skipper.

    Anyway I don’t see Arsenal signing any of the mentioned players especially Flammini. Maybe by the end of the month we will see better speculation from the press.

  35. I personally don’t see the target That SF has mentioned coming to arsenal. I think arsenal don’t have that much money to buy Alonso, and Brede Hangeland is too highly quoted by fulham. Naldo of Werder Bremen is tall i agree but that all he has. If any body has watched him he is not quick and EPL demand your defense to be quick to cover up. Flamini himself will not come back to arsenal we know what kind of person he was so he himself will not want to come to arsenal. As far as Cana is concerned he looks an monster in the you tube but here is EPL you have got to have the that something extra that extra time in midfield that Cesc has in midfield and he still is one season sensation. So AW will not risk that to. All big four has an english CB so I would prefer an English CB who is committed to the club and I think we have one in the form of Taylor from Ncastle who are relegated and looking to trim the side. As far as CDM is concern here we need an giant and an superstar as well. I would prefer Veloso or Toulalan and I think one thing we should remember is that arsenal lacks pace upfront so i would also buy Martins from Newcastle…This would be decent enough squad for the season

  36. @ Sam – It’s not necessarily a list of people I think Wenger should buy, just a combination of who might be available and who I like. I don’t understand what’s ‘bullshit’ about it.

  37. wenger will only go for super super players. since there is no super super player, therefore we will not buy anyone.

  38. I think Naldo is a very realistic option. The first time I saw him play (and that’s already a couple of years ago), I was impressed with him. A little while ago I saw him playing in the Uefa Cup and again very solid in defence and commanding in the air. And from time to time he gets himself on the scoresheet. Regardiing Vermaelen, I’m from Belgium and saw him playing on numerous occasions. He’s only 23 but one of the best defenders in the national team. Don’t think he’s quite ready to play in the Premiership yet. He could do well, but needs a little more time! Would be a better back-up than Silvestre. And in midfield Cana would be great!! He’s the hard tackling monster we need. My preference goes to Yaya, but not likely we’re gonna sign him.

  39. Thank you for the introduction of these versitise players. But I want to tell you that I have interest in Flamini, Naldo and Brede. I think if Flamini comes it will be a great thing for the gunners because his roll played in the past was very ensential and so let oldman Wanger not hesitate exchanging him with Emmanuel Adebayor.

  40. Honestly, we only require hangeland at the moment. All AW needs to do is inculcate the idea of hard tackles from our midfield (song/denilson/diaby) like they did against ManU & we will be on our way to glory!!

  41. against ManU in both legs of EPL ….wish they had been more aggresive in CL as well.
    I dont think Flamini’s gonna return. Whatever makes ppl say that we need to sign David Villa. We never buy a player in excess of $20m

  42. I would appreciate were you to buy a more deffencive minded players to make the back more stronger and Yaya to te team at all cost.cause you have a very good team for now but the players are still young.what we need now are one attacker,two midfielders and two defenders.when you hold on one team and happen to experienced injury that team is no longer itself until the player can come back to the team.

  43. I’m a Barca supporter but I’ve been following Arsenal in the EPL for almost a decade now.

    As a neutral I think the Gunners need top class (though within the Gunners budgetary constraints) reinforcements in 3 areas over the summer if they want to challenge the other members of the EPL Big 4 – centre-back (CB), holding midfielder (CDM) and centre-forward (CF). My suggestions for these slots are:

    CB: Hangeland (Fulham), Naldo (Bremen), Diawara (Bordeaux), Kjaer (Palermo), Marcellis (PSV), Howedes (Schalke),Marcano (Santander)

    CDM: Felipe Melo (Fiorentina), Cana (Marseille), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), De Zeeuw (AZ), Holla (Groningen),Veloso (Sportng)

    CF : Santa Cruz (Blackburn), Gignac (Toulouse), Dzeko / Grafite (Wolfsburg), Hamdaoui (AZ), Chamakh (Bordeaux) ,Negredo (Almeria)

  44. In My personal opinion, I think Arsenal Football Club need the following players……………..
    CB = Pepe (Real Madrid) or
    Hangeland (Fulham)
    CM = Alonso (liverpool) or
    YaYa Toure (Barcelona)

    ST = Martins (newcastle) or
    Simao (Benfica)



  45. arsene wenger is doing well and i think the signings are going to be of some help in strengthening the current squad.any player who wants to leave should be left.

  46. I don’t think all we need is a central defender.We also need a world class striker that can produce goals from really slim chances.A play maker that delivers.Enough of chances made and goals not scored.Arsenal always faces teams ready to defend cos f their attacking style of play.We need a striker that will peel open any defence.

  47. Adebayor, bendter, Gallas,senderos shld all b sold.Diaby shld b warned,he holds on 2d ball 4too long til its gone to d opponents.


  49. as for DM .. Lorik Cana ive heard is good n experienced …. Englaar as mentioned above is also an excellent choice … well unfortunately alonso is highly unlikely cause of his askin price n cause “mad”rid r after him … wats with the Flamini link … the arse ditched us for a few pounds extra let him rot in milan n move to some lower club like alex’bleb’ whos prob goin back to stutgart now

    another signing v need is a central defender … vermaelen hmmm ok but hes to young n inexperienced to be considered first choice …. someone like haageland , cahill or lescott wud do fine cause they have experience playin in the league n r tall n strong unlike our CB’s

    n as for silvestre bein backup plsssss …. u might as well put a big block of rock wit a huge egg shaped head on the pitch … prob it has a better cahnce of stoppin a striker than silly …. just give him to some club for free along with some money to them for takin him of our hands

  50. We can win trophy’s next season only if we get to sign good players.We need central defenders and defensive midfileders and a deadly darring striker in our team to help Van Persie out.Adebayor hasnt been in his lucky boots and if he wants to leave Wenger should show him the exit.We always get to play well but getting down to the wire we run out of gus thus the players getting tired.We need players

  51. we can go in for defenders like Bassong of Newcastle united or Mexes of Roma and defensive midfielders like Toure Yaya or Isaac Vorsah of Hoffeinheim and the attackers Martins of newcastle is there,Jecko too or even Demba Ba of Hoffeinheim they can help us get what we want next season.You use what you have to get what you want.

  52. If Fabregas should leave we can go in for De La Pena of Espanyol he is equal to the task


  54. we need a defensive leader like raul albiol still young and playing for european champions Spain so he has a winnig mentality. a holding midfield player who can see the next pass and would be agressive and has a great assist and passing mobility would be scott brown, he fits perfectly plays champions league football and scottish player of the year. a out and out goalscorer who can lead the line and who can play off our top guns fabregas, walcot, arshavin and co would be edin dzeko proven amazing top goalscorer in germany last season only 23 and reads the gamewell. all these players are young and experienced, true talents and potenial winners. These players are not over priced and could be the backbone that we have been missing like campbel, viera, henry. simmie gunner

  55. A couple of solid defenders, varmaelen bein one, a link with toure or micah richards mamadou sokho could work well, with the signing of fellipe melo and a striker ouur team would have depth and ressiliance in the midfield, the number one thing we need to fix
    Arshavin ?

    Rosicky Melo Fabregas Walcott

    Clichy Vermaelen Toure Sagna


    looks very promising and would definitely contest all competitive events

  56. Hi my fellow gunners, i think it will be a thing of joy if arsene winger will splash some cash on nigerian striker ‘ikechukwu uche’ bcos the player is more sharper than adebayor, so that arsenal striking force can be more stronger than ever. Thanks

  57. realy Arsenal is making me pround this season, am a supporter from Lesotho, in Africa, I think we need Xabi alonso.

  58. Wenger should get a good goalkeeper,a defender,a mid fielder and also a sharp attacker.


  60. If Arsenal is able to sign Cahill and Samba, I do not think that we need Xavi or Flamini.
    Wenger should think of a quality keeper. He has been silent on that position. Up gunners.

  61. Ok we have been so happy with arsenal performance for the last couple of weeks but still we not a strong striker as Van persie.We can’t assume our normal position but we have to fight to the end with strong strikers.There are so many players Wenger can go for to put us on our position. The deal about Wilshere should be looked at a certain angle and not leave the team.

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