It was perfectly clear at yesterday’s AGM that the Arsenal board will not overwrite any decision that Arsene Wenger makes regarding the state of the footballing side of the club.
It has been announced that Wenger will be given money to spend in January expected to be around £20 million. There is a defensive crisis at the Emirates presently and number one priority is the signing of a top defender to belatedly replace the departed Thomas Vermaelen.
Arsenal are currently without Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny which has only infuriated the faithful and made them once again question the lack of transfer activity on transfer deadline day. There are various positions that need filling, it seems that once more the most ignored position at the club is defensive midfield.
Early indications suggest that there will not be a signing in that position which can only mean that Wenger believes he has enough cover for that role. Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are used the majority of the time and then there is the “Bionic Man” Abou Diaby who seems to have injured every part of his body at one time or another. Not sure how he can be seen as a reliable deputy.
There are still question marks over Arsenal’s strike force. Olivier Giroud is on the mend but it is anyone’s guess how long it will be until he is in contention for a starting place, the jury is still out on Danny Welbeck who has a history of blowing hot and cold, Yaya Sanogo is too raw at the moment to be seriously considered and should have been sent out on loan with Arsenal looking to attain a more experienced figure, once again this did not happen and the squad looks thin with just a few injuries.
This morning Arsenal have been linked with two defenders that would go a long way to adding depth and improving the back four.
Ron Vlaar of Aston Villa had been expected to be leaving Villa Park last summer but the club did not receive any adequate bids. It is believed that a bid around £12 million would be enough to secure Vlaar’s signature which would be a bargain. Vlaar had an impressive World Cup under Manchester United coach Louis Van Gaal. The Dutch defender has been ever present for Paul Lambert this season and would be a major blow if any bids materialise.
Virgil van Dijk is a player that was a rumoured target on deadline day but no bid was submitted, Van Dijk has been a Celtic player since June 2013 when he was signed for a fee of £2.6 million and is a real talent. The former Groningen defender has a big frame at 6ft 4 and would add much needed height to the Arsenal set up.
Wenger’s side have really struggled on set pieces this season, defensively and offensively this could go someway to rectifying that problem. At the age of 23 he would still have a lot to learn but Van Dijk has the potential to be a fantastic acquisition and for a fee of around £15 Million he could fit in nicely to the Arsenal squad.
There needs to be reinforcements come January this is certain but is the club going to be weak in the market again like many Winter transfer windows previous? there has to be pressure applied from board level for this to be yet another disappointed showing.