The Premier League title is there to be seized upon this season and whoever takes the initiative in January is likely to put themselves in pole position to be crowned champions. This window may not bring with it the ‘value’ that Arsene Wenger so craves but paying a little over the odds to add in key areas could well bring him a fourth top-flight crown.
The Gunners already look like the team best equipped for success in many people’s eyes. They have the second best defence in the division and the third most productive forward line.
However, it is important that the manager does not look at that and allow himself to stick with what he has. It’s a trait he has become synonymous with and for once he must act against his moral code and splash a bit of cash this winter.
There is actually a decent bit of 'value' to be had and with up top and holding midfield the key areas, we look at five players who Wenger should sign next month to win the Premier League.
The former Barcelona forward has been a revelation since arriving at Celta Vigo in 2013. Noilto has reached double figures in the past two seasons and has already registered seven times in just 10 outings for Os Celticos in 2015/16.
The Spanish international may well be 29 but he ticks all the boxes for Wenger. He is a wonderfully creative player who can play both up on his own or off the frontman, he would not demand a place in the starting XI every week and he would actually cost the club a mere £13m.
The ex-Benfica man is also wanted by Barca, but they are struggling to generate the funds and the board at the Camp Nou are not too keen to reunite him with his former boss Luis Enrique. Nolito would get more playing time at the Emirates, he would ease the burden on Olivier Giroud and fit perfectly into their style of play.
Aaron Ramsey has excelled in the centre of the Arsenal midfield since Santi Cazorla’s injury but against the bigger sides and in key matches they look desperately short of a combative defensive midfielder.
Flavour of the month is Leicester City’s N’Golo Kante. The French midfielder has been a colossus this season and his energy and incredible knack for being in the right place at the right time is uncanny.
His mobility would add a different dimension to the Gunners midfield, while his love of a tackle would install some bite in front of the back four. His signing would ease the burden on Ramsey or Cazorla next to him too, freeing them up to do less ‘donkey work’ and be more creative.
He commanded £5.6m in the summer and prying him away from Leicester would be difficult but at 24 he has time to develop, and after all, he’s French.
The Kenyan is not a player you’d usually associate with Arsenal but it is a transfer that would make total sense.
For years supporters and detractors of the Gunners have been calling for some steel to be added to the heart of the side, perhaps even a little nastiness. Those are things that the Southampton enforcer brings in abundance.
In the summer he handed a transfer request in, hoping to move to Tottenham to be reunited with Mauricio Pochettino but that never materialised. Wenger could do much worse than to hijack any potential deal with Arsenal’s biggest rivals and finally beef up the middle of the park.
Now, bear with me here. The West Brom striker has hardly featured this term, completing 90 minutes just once all season for the Baggies. Talk has been of a lack of fitness but it is clear that he has got on the wrong side of manager Tony Pulis or simply doesn’t suit his system.
Nevertheless, Berahino was the highest scoring Englishman in the top-flight last term and the range of abilities at his disposal should make him a interesting proposition for Wenger.
Technically he is excellent and he is lethal in front of goal. His impact off the bench, thanks to his pace, could be pivotal, while he can also play wide or in a withdrawn role. Versatility is a trait the French boss loves, pair that with goals and the amount of potential the 22-year-old possesses and this deal looks interesting.
Not a player that has been extensively linked with Arsenal but one that will be when the window opens. The 23-year-old has been crucial to Monchengladbach this term and is not just a defensive stopper.
The Swiss international can play a bit too and can operate as both a playmaker and a destructive presence in midfielder. He won’t come cheap, most definitely upwards of £20m, but he would represent a wise investment for the Gunners.
Bayern Munich are reportedly sniffing around him as a potential Xabi Alonso replacement and moving in January could give Arsenal the headstart on the German champions.