Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Should Acquire Nani in January Window

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 29, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Nani of Manchester United evades the challenge from Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on September 29, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal need a little bit more firepower on the attack to compete with the elite English Premier League clubs. That makes the explosive Manchester United winger Nani an ideal acquisition for the Gunners at the January transfer window.

According to a report by John Cross of The Mirror, there is some substance to the notion that Arsene Wenger could acquire Nani from the rival Red Devils.

Wenger allegedly feels that United manager Sir Alex Ferguson owes it to Arsenal after Wenger allowed star striker Robin Van Persie to leave for the Red Devils during the summer:

Arsene Wenger wants Sir Alex Ferguson to return his Robin van Persie "favour" - by agreeing to sell him Nani in the January window.

Arsenal boss Wenger has targeted Manchester United's out-of-favour winger as he looks to strengthen his squad next month.

United manager Ferguson made a personal call to Wenger last summer and persuaded him to sell van Persie for £24m even though he was going to a direct rival.

The future of talented 23-year-old Theo Walcott is still up in the air without a contract extension penned. Wenger is urging him to learn from Thierry Henry, who has been practicing with the Gunners, and feels that Walcott can be the next great one, according to Cross.

Walcott's reluctance to commit to the Gunners long-term makes the acquisition of another scoring presence all the more important. His impact was clearly on display in Saturday's dominant 7-3 home victory over Newcastle in Emirates Stadium, as the youngster notched a hat trick.

With Nani's experience on a big-time club like United and track record of success, he could come in and contribute immediately.

Nani would be fired up with the change of scenery, as he has had several clashes with his current manager, Ferguson, in his time with the Red Devils.

The shortcomings of several prized acquisitions further justify the move to snag Nani in January. Gervais Gervinho has been largely disappointing on the attack, as has newly signed forward Lukas Podolski for much of the 2012-13 season. But the future is certainly bright for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is just 19 years old and has already cracked the Gunners' starting lineup.

Bringing in an experienced veteran like Nani would not only give the attack and instant jolt, but he could also mentor the young Oxlade-Chamberlain and form a wonderful one-two punch on the wing.

Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla provide plenty of offense from midfield, but Arsenal could use the speed of Nani to fortify the front of their attack. Adding Nani to the fold would do just that, and it would also weaken United's unstoppable offense, now keyed by their former star Van Persie.

The defense has improved, but to catch up to the prowess of United as the second half of the season unfolds, the Gunners need to score much more.

Saturday's seven-goal performance came against one of the worst clubs in the EPL and was at home, so it's hard to put much stock in that sudden explosion. But the added talent and explosiveness of Nani would certainly help Arsenal.

With the alleged transfer tag of £12 million—half of what Van Persie's amount is—the 26-year-old Nani is certainly worth the investment.