Arsenal news: How Gunners could line-up next season including Djene Dakonam and Gelson Martins

19 Mar

Arsenal manager Unai Emery made it clear that Arsenal would not sign anyone permanently in January.

The Emirates chief eventually signed Denis Suarez on loan, who is yet to find his feet in the Premier League.

Emery looks set to have a busy summer

However, in recent days Arsenal have been linked to a number of players – and Emery was reportedly in Spain over the weekend personally scouting some summer targets.

But who are those targets and how could Arsenal line-up with them next season?

Find out below…

Gelson Martins (Monaco)

Arsenal are reportedly weighing up a summer move for Gelson Martins.

The 23-year-old forward is currently on loan at Ligue 1 side Monaco from Atletico Madrid.

He has three goals and three assists in his first eight appearances for the club and his performances have caught the eye of Emirates talent-spotters.

Portuguese news outlet A Bola claim Arsenal remain interested in signing him after failing in a loan bid in January.

Martins preferred position is on the right-flank, but his versatility will appeal to Emery as he can also play on the left-wing or behind the striker.

Martins can play in all three positions across a front three

Djene Dakonam (Monaco)

Another player who Emery reportedly has his eye on is Togolese centre-back Djene Dakonam.

Dakonam, 27, has helped LaLiga side Getafe to an impressive season in the Spanish top-flight.

Getafe are fourth in the league and on the weekend Emery was in attendance as he once again contributed to a clean sheet with a hard fought 0-0 draw at Valencia.

It is believed Dakonam has a £31million release clause in his current deal – but the Gunners boss faces competition for the defender as Barca have also reportedly been watching him.

Dakonam has been impressive for Getafe this season

Gabriel Martinelli (Ituano)

Another player Arsenal have been linked with is Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli.

The striker, 17, is currently plying his trade in his homeland and he has drawn attention from a whole host of clubs around Brazil for his performances up front for Sao Paulo-based side Ituano.

However, it is believed the Gunners have been following him the closest and will make a move for the starlet in the summer.

Martinelli’s clearly got talent as he has previously had trials with Barcelona and Manchester United – so Emery will have to seal a deal quickly to fend off interest from other clubs.

And at just 17 years old, he is unlikely to be slotted straight into the line-up and may be sent out on loan for more experience.

Martinelli is most likely to join Arsenal

How could the Gunners line-up?

Is this what Emery’s team could look like next season?

Arsenal transfer news: Gunners ‘targeting’ Atletico Madrid forward Gelson Martins after failing in January loan bid

18 Mar

Arsenal are reportedly targeting a summer bid for Gelson Martins.

The 23-year-old forward is currently on loan at Ligue 1 strugglers Monaco from Atletico Madrid.

Gelson Martins is currently on loan at Monaco

Martins has three goals and three assists in his first eight appearances for the club and his performances have caught the eye.

Portuguese news outlet A Bola claim Arsenal are still interested in signing him after failing in a loan bid in January.

They instead signed Denis Suarez from Barcelona on loan but he is yet to start a match for Unai Emery’s side.

Martins joined Atletico last summer

Martins only joined Atletico last summer but failed to make an impact at the Spanish club.

He was one of a number of players who requested his contract at Sporting Lisbon be terminated after a group of supporters invaded the club’s training centre and assaulted several players and staff.

Sporting are still seeking compensation from Atletico over his summer move.

A Bola also report that the Gunners are willing to make an offer to both clubs in order to sign the Portugal international and end the dispute.

Atletico offered Sporting £13million in compensation but the Portuguese club claim he had a release clause of £86million in his contract.

Gelson Martins: Arsenal manager Unai Emery is the right man to get the talented winger back on track

22 Jan

Portuguese winger Gelson Martins hasn’t delivered on the big expectations his arrival at Atlético Madrid brought, but Unai Emery’s history of getting wayward players back on track suggests a move to Arsenal could yield positive results.

As personal terms and negotiations with Chelsea for Álvaro Morata are wrapped up, Atlético Madrid are frantically looking to offload the couple of players they can spare from their stretched squad to clear up cash from a wage bill that leaves no room to manoeuvre.

Atletico Madrid star Gelson Martins in action

One of the two big candidates to move is 23-year-old Martins and it was no coincidence he, along with fellow exit-bound attacker Nikola Kalinic, dropped out of the matchday squad to play Huesca at the weekend, suffering conveniently timed niggles and complaints.

Martins has found out the hard way that Diego Simeone can be exceptionally ruthless when a player fails to adapt to his style.

Far more experienced and decorated forwards like Mario Mandžukić discovered as much early on in previous seasons, so Atleti’s willingness to let go of their summer signing – in all likelihood temporarily – shouldn’t be seen as any exaggeratedly great slight on the former Sporting man’s abilities.

Rather, Simeone simply has to realistically face the pressure of making it to a Champions League final at his home stadium, as well as keeping pace with Barcelona in La Liga, and can’t afford to carry the growing pains of a player new to the country when a ready made La Liga forward like Morata is available.

That doesn’t change the fanfare with which Martins’ arrival on a free transfer last summer was greeted.

Bringing in a player who at 23 already had 140 games for Sporting under his belt (including double figures’ worth in Europe), not to mention one seen as a star of the future for the cost of zero was considered a major coup – especially when the likes of Arsenal were also sniffing around.

In the months since, Martins has played sporadically, either on the wing or as a secondary forward, but has struggled to find his place in Simeone’s defence-first style that has a habit of stifling all but the most patient of attackers.

Ateltico boss Diego Simeone hasn’t quite got the best from Martins in LaLiga.

A loan move to Arsenal, where he would be coached by the still demanding but far more creatively-minded Emery, could well be the pick-me-up the Portugal international needs. Particularly when Emery has a habit of taking players going through difficult moments then turning them around with his combination of infectious passion and pinpoint-accurate analysis of how they can improve their game.

Ever Banega found out as much at Sevilla. The Basque coach turned the midfielder around dramatically, taking him from someone cast aside as a wasted talent to the finished article as a playmaker with as sharp an eye for a killer pass as anyone in Spain.

It was a similar story for Adil Rami, who Valencia couldn’t wait to get rid of, but Sevilla converted into a trophy-winning rock at the back. Fellow Europa League winner Nico Pareja’s story followed a similar trend.

Could Martins be the next to benefit from the Emery magic?

Arsenal manager Unai Emery could turn things around for Martins.

Considering Arsenal have been attempting to bring the player to the Emirates since last summer, there is no doubt their coach sees potential to be tapped.

The Gunners are in the market for a winger, and with the goal of competing in multiple competitions meaning the games will come thick and fast in the coming months, regular match time will be on offer in his favoured forward positions to an extent that wasn’t possible in Madrid.

It is easy to see how Martins’ combination of pace and dribbling ability could fit in well in the end-to-end world of the Premier League, too.

And though he isn’t likely to be asked for the same extreme defensive commitment as is demanded by Simeone, the Portuguese is not a slacker, owing to his many formative years spent playing at full-back. Even Cholo has praised him for being “generous” this season.

Martins is capable of doing his defensive duties as well as attacking.

While Atleti are expected to favour a loan over a straight sale, the desperation of their situation may leave some room for any interested parties to manoeuvre.

The Spaniards want the Morata deal tied up as soon as possible. in order to earn their new striker as much playing time as possible before the Champions League returns.

In a market where attacking talent is king, Arsenal could certainly do worse than to seize the unique opportunity, and Gelson isn’t likely to get a better option than the Emirates and Emery either.

Arsenal transfer news: How Unai Emery’s side could line-up at end of January with James Rodriguez and Gelson Martins, but no Hector Bellerin

22 Jan

When Unai Emery announced that Arsenal would only be able to sign players on loan in the January transfer window, fans had every reason to feel a bit down in the dumps.

But an impressive 2-0 win over Chelsea over the weekend will have lifted spirits and now there’s a sense anything can happen.

It was all smiles for Arsenal on Saturday

And over the last few days Arsenal have been linked with a number of high-profile players; there are rumoured loan deals for James Rodriguez and Gelson Martins in the pipeline, while Denis Suarez’s anticipated move from Barcelona is gradually getting closer to completion.

However, there was one setback from the Chelsea win.

Right-back Hector Bellerin is set to miss the rest of the season after rupturing his cruciate ligament.

Emery will now have to reshuffle his team as we get to the business end of the season, so how might the Gunners line up at the end of the January transfer window?

Below you can see’s potential Arsenal XI taking into account the latest transfer news and gossip…


No change required between the sticks for Arsenal as Bernd Leno is likely to be the No.1 for a number of years after joining the club last summer.

The 26-year-old also has experienced head Petr Cech to mentor him – but that will only be until the summer after the Czech Republic international announced he will retire at the end of this campaign.

There are also some reports Arsenal could land Juventus youngster Emil Audero, currently with Sampdoria on loan, and have him as No.2 to Leno when Cech leaves.


It’s still not clear when Nacho Monreal will be fit again while the long-term injury of Rob Holding has made Arsenal look a bit depleted in defence.

The Bellerin injury could not have come at a worse time and it’s going to require a huge effort to fill the boots of the Spaniard and his marauding efforts on the flank.

Emery has a choice of either Stephan Lichtsteiner or Ainsley Maitland-Niles to play right-back, and we’ve gone for the youngster with Lichtsteiner unlikely to be able to play week in, week out for a club still competing on three fronts.

Maitland-Niles is known as a midfielder but is learning his trade at right-back

Maitland-Niles, 21, is learning his trade well and scored a goal against Liverpool last month – albeit Arsenal went onto lose 5-1 to the Premier League leaders.

Sokratis Papastathopolous and Laurent Koscielny worked well to keep Eden Hazard quiet last weekend while Sead Kolasinac is an adequate stand-in for Monreal at left-back.


An exciting piece of business could be in the offing at Arsenal with reports of the club “making contact” with Real Madrid regarding a loan move for James Rodriguez.

Rodriguez’s loan deal at Bayern Munich is up in the summer

The Colombian was one of the stars of the 2014 World Cup but has been rebuilding his career on loan at Bayern Munich over the past year and, as a natural No.10, he would be an ideal replacement for Mesut Ozil who Emery clearly doesn’t rate.

Rodriguez’s presence just off the front line could be accommodated well if Emery played dogged defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira, who’s given Arsenal some much-needed steel since joining last summer, in the middle of the park.

Meanwhile, the loan move for Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez still appears to be on but negotiations are reportedly moving slowly. He would play alongside Torreira but is likely to be the more adventurous of the pair, having shown his attacking quality during his time at Camp Nou.

Suarez is frustrated at his lack of playing time at Barca


Although Emery is often reluctant to play more than one man up top, the system would be crying out for a three-man strike force if the Gelson Martins rumours are true.

Although Martins only moved to Atletico Madrid from Sporting Lisbon in the summer, rumours have surfaced that he could join the Gunners on loan for the rest of the season.

Martins moved to Atletico in the summer from Sporting

However, there appears to be competition for the right winger, as the latest reports suggest Arsenal legend Thierry Henry wants to take the Portugal international to Monaco.

But if Martins goes to the Emirates, he could join the exciting partnership of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Lacazette and Aubameyang ran the Chelsea defence ragged

Emery rarely plays the pair together, but the performance at Chelsea proves Arsenal are at their best when they’re going after teams, meaning Lacazette and Aubameyang need to be playing together more often.

Adding the Portugal international to create an Aubameyang-Lacazette-Martins triumvirate would add even more firepower and pace on the counter to Arsenal’s attack, and make them a fearsome proposition for any defence.

Starting XI

Is this how the Gunners could line up at the end of January?

Arsenal transfer news: Gunners reportedly in a fight with club legend Thierry Henry to sign Gelson Martins

21 Jan

Arsenal are reportedly in a battle with club legend Thierry Henry to sign Atletico Madrid winger Gelson Martins.

Henry is manager of relegation threatened Ligue 1 side Monaco and wants to sign the 23-year-old.

Arsenal are reportedly interested in Gelson Martins

The Gunners are understood to have made an offer to sign Martins on loan but Monaco could hijack the deal.

The Portuguese winger only joined Atletico in the summer after joining from Sporting Lisbon.

Gelson Martins has also attracted the interest of Monaco

In Portugal he reportedly requested his contract be terminated at the club following an incident where supporters invaded their training facility and assaulted several players and members of staff.

Martins then signed a five-year contract with the La Liga club but has only made eight league appearances all season.

Portuguese publication O Jogo claims Arsenal have submitted a bid to sign him on loan while they also report Henry’s Monaco have made a similar approach.

The Ligue 1 club have already brought in four players this month, including Cesc Fabregas from Chelsea.

Arsenal have been linked with several players during the January transfer window but can only make loan signings.