Assessing Arsenal’s Free Transfer Options

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BILBAO, SPAIN - DECEMBER 02: Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Club reacts during the La Liga match between Athletic Club and Real Madrid at Estadio de San Mames on December 2, 2017 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

It’s no secret that Arsène Wenger loves a bargain in the transfer market. Sead Kolašinac’s arrival on a free transfer is just the latest example of the Frenchman’s penny-pinching.  While Kolasinac’s signing was a shrewd deal, this reluctance to splash the cash has frustrated Arsenal fans for years. Players like Park Chu-young and an ageing Mathieu Flamini disappointed during their time at the Emirates.

Nevertheless, there are, in fact, still some bargains left in the inflated transfer market.  Arsenal are able to sign non-EPL players who are in the last six months of their current deals on pre-contracts starting this month. These players would then link up with the Gunners in the summer, with no transfer fee required. Here are Arsenal’s possible free transfer options, all whose contracts expire this summer.

Assessing Arsenal’s Free Transfer Options

Leon Goretzka

Schalke midfielder and Germany international Goretzka will have no shortage of suitors when his current deal expires this summer. The latest in a long line of young talents brought through by the Royal Blues (including Arsenal’s own Mesut Özil), the twenty-two-year-old has been courted heavily by Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

Combining formidable speed and size with advanced technical ability, Goretzka is the ideal modern midfielder. His ability to contribute at both ends of the pitch makes him all the more valuable; he has scored four goals in only eight starts this season and averages 2.2 tackles per game.

Securing the services of Goretzka will be challenging for the Gunners. However, the promise of regular play-time and a reunion with former teammate Kolasinac could be enough to convince him to make the switch.

Bernard

This tricky winger first burst onto the scene with Athletico Mineiro in his native Brazil, before making the switch to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013.

Having struggled to make the transition to Ukranian football at first, Bernard is now an integral part of the Shakhtar set-up. This season, he helped secure his team’s place in the knock-out stages of the Champions League for the first time in three years. His standout performance came in Shakhtar’s win against Manchester City, where he scored a brilliant individual goal.

Although slight in stature, Bernard is blessed with blistering pace and the trademark Brazilian flair. With Theo Walcott’s time at Arsenal coming to a close, Bernard might just be the perfect replacement.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

At just 23, ‘Kepa’ is exceptionally young for a top-level goalkeeper. The Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper has enjoyed a meteoric rise and firmly established himself as one of La Liga’s top keepers over the last two seasons.

Petr Cech is not getting any younger and is becoming more prone to errors. His mistake against Bournemouth at the weekend highlights the need for reinforcements in his positions (the less said about David Ospina the better).

Kepa could easily be Arsenal’s first choice between the sticks for the next decade. Wenger would have to make his move quickly, however. Real Madrid are also said to be extremely keen on his services, and the allure of Los Blancos would be impossible to match.

All these players represent great value in today’s insane transfer market. Arsène Wenger loves a good deal, but are these players the right fit? What other free transfers should Arsenal be looking at? Leave your comments below.

Check out other LWOS stories on Arsenal transfers here.

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