5 January Moves That Would Put Arsenal on a Different Level

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2013

5 January Moves That Would Put Arsenal on a Different Level

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    Arsenal know they have unfinished business from the summer transfer window.

    The Gunners strove to bring in a new forward but were ultimately unsuccessful. Since the window slammed shut, Arsene Wenger has been forced to rely on Nicklas Bendtner as the alternative to Olivier Giroud.

    It's a situation that requires remedying—not least because Bendtner is still desperate to leave the club.

    Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis is acutely aware of the need to recruit a new forward. According to Sky Sports, Gazidis told L'Equipe newspaper:

    We will see where Arsenal will be in January and whether or not the club will invest in another forward.

    Olivier Giroud won't be able to go on all alone until the end of the season. We need to buy.

    The right signing in January could lift Arsenal to the next level, and transform them from top-four contenders to legitimate title challengers.

    Go to the next slide to discover five players—four of them strikers—who could help push Arsenal over the line. 

Sebastien Corchia

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    Centre-forward isn't the only position where Arsenal could improve their squad.

    The Gunners could also use a new right-back. Bacary Sagna's contract expires at the end of this season, and worryingly there has not been any news of a possible extension. Sagna's current deputy, Carl Jenkinson, has failed to convince when called upon this season.

    Sochaux's France U-21 international full-back Sebastien Corchia would be a typical Arsene Wenger signing. He's young, quick and has a natural instinct for expansive attacking play. The Express have suggested that Arsenal are competing with Tottenham, Lyon and Marseille for Corchia's signature.

    Acquiring Corchia in January to compete with Sagna would allow Jenkinson to go out on loan and pick up some much-needed experience. 

Alexandre Pato

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    Arsenal might be prepared to rescue former AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato from his Corinthians nightmare.

    Since signing for Corinthians last January, Pato has endured a torrid time. Now The Express suggest the Brazilian outfit could be willing to let him go for as little as £10 million.

    Signing Pato would be a calculated gamble for Arsenal. However, Arsene Wenger has a good track record on gambling on players with poor injury records. The likes of Marc Overmars and Nwankwo Kanu have both overcome major fitness problems to become stars at Arsenal.

    Pato would probably not be a starter in London but would certainly offer an upgrade on Nicklas Bendtner—and at a reasonable fee. 

Demba Ba

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    Arsenal tried and failed to sign Demba Ba on the most recent transfer deadline day.

    Having seen Arsenal swoop for Mesut Ozil, Jose Mourinho pulled the plug on any potential deal for Ba. Arsenal had become a threat, and loaning them a player of Ba's ability was no longer viable.

    However, according to The Star, Arsenal could be set to return with a cash offer to secure Ba's services on a permanent basis in January. If Chelsea are able to secure a new striker of their own, they may agree to cash in on Ba.

    Ba's athleticism and finishing would make him an effective alternative to Olivier Giroud. 

Javier Hernandez

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    According to Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, Arsenal have already earmarked Javier Hernandez as a potential January signing. Mokbel speculates that Hernandez's lack of minutes at Old Trafford could make him amenable to a move to London.

    He'd certainly be a fantastic signing for the Gunners. Hernandez is a very different type of forward to Olivier Giroud. While the Frenchman is a traditional hold-up player, Hernandez's game is based on perpetual movement. His off-the-ball running is unsurpassed in the Premier League, and his finishing is clinical.

    It seems unlikely that David Moyes would sanction any switch for Hernandez, but if Arsenal could pull it off, it would doubtless be a huge coup. 

Luis Suarez

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    Luis Suarez was Arsenal's primary transfer target of the summer.

    Before a bid for Mesut Ozil was even mooted, Arsenal engaged in a protracted saga over Liverpool's Uruguayan star, going so far as to bid over £40 million for his services. Arsenal believed they had triggered a release clause in Suarez's contract, but were misinformed.

    The Uruguayan appears relatively settled at Anfield and is the Premier League's top scorer despite missing the first six matches of the season with suspension. Any deal would appear to be dead.

    However, The Mirror's Andy Dunn has suggested the Gunners should return with a record-shattering £60 million offer.

    It's worth a try. Arsenal have nothing to lose by submitting a bid for the Premier League's most prolific striker.

    Who do you think Arsenal should buy in January? Let us know below.