Arsenal planning double Bundesliga raid this January

His side might be joint top of the Premier League, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger seems keen to bolster his options at the Emirates this January.

With eight first-team players out injured, many can sympathise with Wenger’s plight and the Frenchman is reported in the papers this week to be looking across at Germany for some answers.

Bayer Leverkusen winger Karim Bellarabi is first up on Wenger’s Bundesliga targets, with the 25-year-old also attracting the attention of Manchester United.

Bellarabi joined Leverkusen in 2011, and has steadily grown into the first-team in addition to his first cap for Germany last year.

A speedy winger with skills aplenty, Bellarabi netted 12 times in the league last term, and already has two strikes this year in a Leverkusen side which is meandering in mid-table.

An ever-present this season, Bellarabi would cost around £15m but with Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain regularly out injured, the talented German could be worth shelling out for in a bit to bolster Arsenal’s title credentials.

As a side note, the Leverkusen man is the scorer of the fastest ever goal in the Bundesliga after netting just nine seconds in to Bayer’s 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund last year.

Another Germany international who has caught Wenger’s eye is Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes.

The 27-year-old has been in the first-team at the Veltins-Arena for eight years, and was an ever-present member of Germany’s World Cup winning side last year.

Foremost a centre-half, Wenger is believed to want Howedes as a replacement for compatriot Per Mertesacker, who turns 32 next year.

Wenger may face a fight to sway Howedes away from only club he’s ever played for, but with Mertesacker and fellow German Mesut Ozil already at the Emirates, Howedes would have some familiar faces to welcome him to north London.

The Gunners are 11/8 for the Premier League this season, but a lot of their success hinges on how their squad and their injuries cope in the second half of the campaign, something Wenger is apparently very keen to address sooner rather than later.

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