Arsenal Transfer Window 2012 Preview

After a dismal start to the season, Arsene Wenger's men find themselves once more in contention for European qualification, but what will January's transfer window bring for the red half of North London?

What They Need

A striker. Top scorer Robin Van Persie might be setting the Premiership alight at the minute, but his striking team-mates aren't exactly easing his burden. Both Gervinho and Walcott seem happiest operating in wider roles, and their goal-scoring record reflects as much, with Park and Chamakh not yet making the grade - Arsenal need a quick solution, especially with Chamakh and Gervinho heading to the African Nations, and Thierry Henry on loan may well fit the bill, with that deal now completed. He won't score a hatload, but he could well have the same effect that Henrik Larsson did at Man Utd in the twilight years of his career. Arsenal will need another striker though, and whether they wait until the market calms down in the summer or pounce now to try and steal a march on their rivals is unclear. But, as we keep banging on about, this winter window is very much a seller's market and if Arsene believes Henry will plug the gap, and that crucially the club can keep ahold of Robin Van Persie when Man City are bound to start sniffing around, it's likely he will wait until the end of the season. A left-back, or at least cover at left-back needs to be addressed as well. Andre Santos came in as a last minute signing in the last window, and he has shown flashes of what he could do, but he isn't up to the standard of either Ashley Cole or Gael Clichy and Arsene really needs his team of scouts to unearth another gem in that position, or he will be forced to look elsewhere, and with money, which you get the feeling is always Wenger's least preferable of the two options. What isn't needed is a total rebuild. Looking at Arsenal's squad, they don't need a lot - they have an impressive pool of talent, but a lot of them could be better. Players like Rosicky, Arshavin and Chamakh haven't hit top gear yet with any consistency, and it looks like Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are constantly on the edge of gaining that extra level of experience and ability to take them to the next level. Throughout the squad there is quality, but it still looks like the team is missing an on-field leader in the vein of Tony Adams, Thierry Henry or Cesc Fabregas. Hopefully, for Arsenal fans, the return of Henry will change that and force the team to gel.

Outgoing?

According to current rumours, young upstart Emmanuel Frimpong will be made available for loan, with Aston Villa among the teams linked to the combative centre midfielder, who could do with some first team experience and will probably find himself sitting on the bench behind Arteta and Wilshere more often than not. The key thing for Wenger is to convince the board to resist any attempt to buy Robin Van Persie. The Premiership's top-scorer is in blistering form and wherever there is form, there is probably interest from Man City, who can pay whatever they want as long as the financial fair play rules aren't in full force yet. So, Gooners, who do you think should come in, and who should be let go? Is the capture of Thierry Henry good news? Let us know below.
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