Could Arsenal be set to benefit from the Chelsea exodus?

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There’s a lot of talk about the futures of numerous Chelsea players, some of whom look likely to be leaving Stamford Bridge this January in search of more game time. After seeing Chelsea accept transfer requests from both centre-back Alex and centre-forward Nicolas Anelka, I can’t help but wonder if Arsenal could benefit by taking a look at each player.

Arsenal were rumoured to be interested in Alex during the summer (when there was a much more pressing need for the Gunners to bring in a centre-back). However, Per Mertesacker was signed from Dortmund and Arsenal have not looked back since. At the moment Per, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen are all competing for the two available Arsenal centre-back slots and it may seem senseless to add another body into the mix.

However, I’m sure that just about each and every Arsenal fan would be only too happy to see the back of Sebastien Squillaci. If he were to go this January, wouldn’t it be sensible to bring in a quality 3rd/4th choice centre-back? Alex would certainly be a step-up.

But for me it’s Anelka who would be the real draw. It’s been clear for quite some time that the Gunners need somebody who can take the goal-scoring burden off of Robin Van Persie and it strikes me that Anelka still has the ability to make a difference in the Premier League. He may be getting on in years, but he’s a natural finisher and you can bet that he’d grab a fair few goals given the number of chances that Arsenal create.

At 33-years-old surely he has another season or two in him at the peak of his powers? At the very least he’d be an improvement on the confidence-shorn Marouane Chamakh who seems to have has wiped from his memory the very concept of what it means to be a striker.

Arsenal need someone who can get them goals and I’d be confident in Anelka’s ability to deliver. With Chelsea looking to get them off the wage bill the Gunners would be able to pick up both players on the cheap.

So if Chelsea could be persuaded to let Anelka go for around $5-6m, would you want Wenger to attempt to agree terms that could see the Frenchman return to Arsenal?

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