Less than two weeks to go until the January transfer window and Arsenal are in desperate need of players. Ruling out Victor Wanyama could turn out to be a huge mistake by Arsene Wenger.
With Francis Coquelin out injured until at least February, Wenger should be tempted to go into the market and provide cover for the combative midfielder.
However, the move looks like it won't happen, as the Arsenal manager dismissed speculation this week which linked the club to the Southampton midfielder.
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Sky Sports reported Wenger saying: "I rate the player but we are not on the case."
Arsenal need cover
Arsenal supporters should be pretty disappointed with this response. Of course Wenger could be lining up a different defensive midfielder, but then again looking at his track record, that seems unlikely.
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Some people will question the reasoning behind purchasing another holding midfielder when it won't be too long before Coquelin returns.
One reason being we don't know if the former Charlton midfielder will get injured again. You need two players for each position, and in Arsenal's case two quality players in each area of the field.
This isn't just short-term either. Yes Coquelin might return and not get injured again, but that isn't the point.
You need to think about the future. Tottenham already placed a reported player plus cash bid in the summer for the Kenyan - if the Gunners wait until the summer to sign him it could be too late.
There aren't bundles of top quality defensive midfielders out there and certainly not many with his Premier League experience.
People may question the fact he only plays at Southampton and hasn't played for a top club. That is difficult to argue with, but even fan-favourite Robert Pires, believes Wenger should sign him.
“He is a very good ambassador of Kenyan football and has done well in Southampton but I hope he signs for Arsenal in the future.
"He has the speed, skill and physique," the Independent quoted Pires as saying.
You can also see the difference Morgan Schneiderlin - Wanyama's former colleague - makes to the Manchester United side when he plays.
Without him they were pummelled 3-0 at the Emirates. A week later, they played Everton with Schneiderlin in the side, and reverse the scoreline emphatically.
Most important position
The holding midfield position is one of, if not the most important position on the pitch. It provides protection to the defence as well as helping to build attacks. Without a defensive midfielder, teams lack balance and look fragile.
Like Arsenal do, and did last year before Coquelin came into the side.
The former Celtic player is a huge presence in midfield, some will say a similar stature to former Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira. Coquelin provides more grit to the side than it used to have, but he is still young and a lot of responsibility has been placed on his shoulders over the last year.
Also, teams probably still don't fear playing the north London club as much as they should do. A towering figure like Wanyama might just do the trick. A tough-tackling, dogged midfielder, who players don't want to come up against in either box.
It's not as if Wanyama will cost a fortune either. More than £15 million has been suggested, which in this modern era, for a player with nearly 70 Premier League appearances, captain of his country and Champions League experience with Celtic, that is simply a bargain.
Not to forget he's only 24-years-old. To have that experience at such a young age and to be that consistent at a high level is impeccable.
It also gives Arsenal options. After the New Year, Wenger's side still need to go to the Etihad, Old Trafford, Anfield, White Hart Lane, the Brittania and Goodison Park. Not excluding a double-header with Barcelona in the Champions League.
That's the real test for Arsenal and Coquelin. The Frenchman so far hasn't proved in the big away games he can be the real force. It's hard to blame him either when he's had such a lack of involvement in that regard.
Wanyama already has the understanding of tough matches and he has dominated the big midfield battles too.
Wenger could even play both in one of these tricky matches just to give them a bit more stability, and perhaps where they would be happy to just get a point.
Title races sometimes come down to head-to-head matches, they don't want to be going to these difficult places without a holding midfielder, because they'll get overrun in the middle of the park.
At the moment some people would say Schneiderlin was the signing of the season because of the impact he has on Louis van Gaal's side.
To have Coquelin and Wanyama in your side, Arsenal would possess arguably the most defensively solid midfield base in the country. That's why he would be the signing of the season, because no one in the league at the moment has that depth in midfield.
When United lose Schneiderlin to injury they struggle, much like the Gunners do when Coquelin is unavailable.
There is no need to take the risk and hope Coquelin will be fit this season, and hope there will be a defensive midfielder available in the summer. There is already a top quality player, at a reasonable price available. He should have already been signed last summer.
Arsenal fortunately still have a chance to sign him, but they might not be so lucky next time.
Arsenal fans: Would you like to see Wanyama at the Emirates? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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