With Arsene Wenger’s declaration last night, how should he progress with just 11 days left until the window slams shut.
“The transfer market really starts now, a lot of activity will happen between now and 2 September,” he said.
An unusually open statement from Arsene Wenger surfaced in the aftermath of Arsenal’s comfortable 3-0 victory in Turkey over Fenerbache. It promised what every Gunner wanted to hear, that Wenger was finally ready to splash come cash in the development of his 2013/14 squad.
With an unholy number of players already linked with a move to the Emirates this season; it was no surprise that the rumour mill went crazy after Arsene’s candid press conference. A few of the prospects surprised me and a few have excited me as seeing the likes of Benzema or Di Maria in the Premiership would benefit the neutral no end. However, some of the suggested targets are players who are not needed by Arsenal in their current circumstances.
Here are my suggestions on what Arsene Wenger needs to do.
Much has been made of the Gunners’ £10 million bid for Yohan Cabaye in the build up to Newcastle’s opening fixture on Monday. Whether you agree with the morality of the timing of the bid, I think the reaction to the bid for the Frenchman showed there is some conformity of opinion that he is a player Arsenal do not need.
While the French international is a player of decent quality and gaining valued experience in the national team; his characteristics are not in line with what is required at the Emirates. An efficient ball player with ability to control the tempo of a game, Cabaye would only add to the options Arsenal have in that role.
Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Abou Diaby may not all possess the attributes Cabaye does, but are more than adequate options to have in central midfield. If they need a central based midfielder, they need to look for a dynamic ball winner; someone who can break up the play and let the other impressive playmakers, such as Wilshere and Cazorla, take control of the game.
With that in mind the name Mathieu Flamini has been bandied about. This would also be against Arsenal’s interests. The AC Milan midfielder never fully impressed while at Arsenal and a move for the Frenchman might as well signal that Arsenal are headed in the wrong direction.
While in need of a defensive minded central midfield player, the Gunners are also badly in need of options at centre half. Laurent Koscielny came off injured against Fenerbache on Wednesday with Bacary Sagna having to fill in out of position at centre half.
The full back is likely to be paired alongside Per Mertesacker for the Premier League game against Hull this weekend. Arsenal haven’t been seriously linked with too many centre-halves this window but with the injury-prone Thomas Vermaelen out until mid September; it would hurt Wenger to strengthen his options in this position.
Two of the most promising pieces of transfer gossip coming out of the Emirates in the past 24 hours have been the possible double swoop for Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria. With Bale’s deal to Madrid seeming ‘imminent;’ the Spanish giants are likely to want to fund Bale’s transfer by selling on one of their other attacking assets.
Benzema for me would be a fantastic signing; second only to Luis Suarez in world football’s current available strikers that Arsenal could plausibly sign. Di Maria would bring Arsenal some quality in the wider areas; allowing Cazorla and Podolski to play in their more favourable positions whilst also allowing for Walcott to play more centrally if need be.
I still retain that a move for Suarez would be in Arsenal’s best interests. He was one of the best strikers in world football last year and his ‘will do anything to win’ attitude is exactly what Arsene Wenger needs in his squad.
The next week or so should definitely be interesting for Arsenal fans but keep those expectations in check. The start of this summer’s transfer window was ominously similar to this; plenty of talk about spending money on world class targets; but it never came to fruition. While Wenger knows he must spend big; will he finally make good on his promises?
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