On transfer deadline day, Kostas Mitroglou arrived in London. A last-gasp move to the Emirates Stadium, perhaps? After all, the Greek international fit the bill perfectly.
Nearing his prime with an immense goal scoring rate for Olympiakos and the Greek national team alike, he is not presumably the sort of star that would expect massive wages and a place in the starting eleven every weekend at a club like Arsenal.
In reality though, Mitroglou was on his way to Fulham, where René Meulensteen was waiting to complete his £11 million signing. Meanwhile, next-door neighbours Arsenal only managed to loan an injured midfielder way past his prime, Kim Kallstrom.
It has to be labeled as extraordinary, for a player reportedly wanted by giants like Liverpool and Arsenal themselves ,to eventually sign for a relegation-threatened team like Fulham. It can surely be concluded though that no other offers must have arrived for the 25-year-old striker, and the move to Craven Cottage was all Mitroglou had left if he wanted to raise his level.
Arsenal fans will once again feel frustrated with the club’s lack of transfer activity, as all along in January Arsenal were expected to sign a forward, with fear that an injured Olivier Giroud would end any hope for silverware this season.
Nicklas Bendtner and Yaya Sanogo are currently the only other forwards at the club, both far from being good enough to spearhead the attacking formation of Arsenal at any point during the crucial second half of the campaign.
Giroud might not be among the best forwards around, but he has been integral to Arsenal’s title challenge this year. With 14 goals in all competitions so far this season, he is Arsenal’s top scorer and at times has proven to be a brilliant target-man with his link-up play and aerial ability.
While another Mesut Ozil-like signing in the department of forwards was definitely not necessary, a simple backup that could provide if something were to happen to Giroud would have certainly benefited Arsenal.
Manchester City, arguably Arsenal’s main competitors for the Premier League title this year, have plenty of options when it comes to forwards. With Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero considered the starters, they have quality rotation options in Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic that are not only great back-up in times of injuries, but also allow healthy rotation to occur during times of congested fixtures.
And while Arsenal were crying out for that forward, Kallstrom was signed out of the blue. While it's logical Arsenal could use a backup midfielder with Aaron Ramsey injured and Mathieu Flamini serving a ban for a red card, it's bizarre Arsene Wenger would go for Kallstrom, who could be out for the next month or so with a back injury.
The Greek Superleague might not be among the best in Europe, but Mitroglou's 14 goals in just 12 appearances is nevertheless an impressive feat. Another three goals in the Champions League proves he is capable of providing on the European stage as well.
At the end the season, Wenger might have regrets over not inviting the Greek international for negotiations on transfer deadline day.
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