With some hours left before the transfer window is shut until the chill winds of January force it open again where does Arsene need to strengthen to make Sunday nothing more than a bad memory?
There can be no doubt that the club needs a few experienced heads to provide the quality the youngsters at the club need to rid their minds of the chastening experience handed out by Manchester United. But will Arsene dust off his chequebook and where will he lavish the money?
Well my friends all the answers are soon to be offered, for we only need to wait until 11pm on Wednesday to welcome the reinforcements or worry for the rest of the season.
Between the posts is now not an issue as Wojciech Szczesny has surely done enough to be handed the number one gloves between now and the end of the season. It would appear that Fabianski will be the number two and maybe we will be saying adios to Manual Almunia by Wednesday. Bacary Sagna appears to be the first choice right-back while we may also be happy in the wide midfield positions and upfront, especially with the imminent arrival of South Korean striker Park Chu-Young from Monaco.
For me, the business appears to be at centre-half, central midfield and interestingly, following Sunday’s game, at left-back. As I write this Arsenal are being strongly linked with Fenerbahçe left-back Andre Santos and a deal worth around £6million could be sealed by the end of Tuesday. But let’s take a look at the positions I mentioned above in more detail:
The departure of Gael Clichy in the summer left Arsenal fans wondering about a new signing, for while Kieran Gibbs is a willing trier his ankles appear not to want to play ball. Armand Traore was thrown the shirt against Man Utd, his reward? A permanent move to Premier League new boys QPR.
So we all woke up on Monday, pretending Sunday had not happened to the news Traore was going, would Arsene step up and maybe snatch Leighton Baines from cash-strapped Everton? Well, not quite but it appears we are going to have a Brazilian by the name of Andre Santos from Fenerbahçe for around £6million.
At 28-years-old, Santos is certainly not young and promising but could be the experience and guile needed in an otherwise shaky back-four. He comes with proven Champions League quality having featured for Fenerbahçe while also notching 22 caps for Brazil and as any football fan knows, you don’t get in that team easily. 10 goals from left-back for Fenerbahçe in the last two years also means he could be a threat going forward.
Cahill, Dann, Samba, Mertesacker, Jagielka, Albiol, Rob George (only kidding) – we have been linked with them all summer and yet signed no one. But if Arsene is serious about reviving a poorly patient then he must administer a serious dose of iron into the Arsenal bloodstream. Anyone of the above would do that (except yours truly), it’s just a question of who and at what price.
Cahill is the favourite, Arsenal having been in touch already with an offer of £2.49 and a bag of humbugs, but one would expect a proper offer to be tabled on Tuesday/Wednesday to test the Bolton board’s patience. Cahill is 25, strong and attacks the ball and won’t be intimidated by the likes of Drogba, Rooney and Dzeko, all good qualities for a potential Arsenal centre-half.
Dann, again strong, young and someone who attacks the ball, but could his small amount of PL experience count against him and does the Scouser want a move to boyhood heroes Liverpool, a decent bid is sure to test the water at cash-strapped Birmingham City. Samba is interesting, 27 and with a huge amount of Premier League experience, could the man who often bullied Arsenal at Ewood Park actually turn into a fan favourite at the Emirates.
Jagielka appeared to be the early favourite but Arsenal do not appear to want to go back with a further bid after having something in the region of £10million rejected. Mertesacker and Albiol appear to be non-starters now but hey, there’s more than a day to go!
The centre of midfield is yet another problem area, Wenger appears to be happy to use Song and Frimpong as defensive midfielders this year so perhaps a ball-winner should be ruled out. Instead all the talk appears to centre on attracting a play-maker to the club. Again as I write this we have stated our interest in Yossi Benayoun who at 31 is no youngster but who has years of Premier League experience behind him and for me would be an excellent mentor to the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere. The headline-grabber though would be Kaka, who again at 29 is no youngster but who whose signing would make the entire football world stand up and take notice. The former World Player of the Year does not want to leave Real Madrid but he is not in Jose Mourinho’s plans. Arsenal allegedly had a loan bid turned down with the words, ‘Pay us £17million and he’s yours’ – a former headline-grabber, Kaka has battled against severe injuries and loss of form since arriving at the Bernabeu. Could Arsenal be the club to turn him around? Arsene has form in this area, remember what they said about Marc Overmars before he signed?
Whatever happens, it’s sure to be fun. For Arsene Wenger, its some hours left to save the club’s season and who knows, it could just be the best day’s business in the club’s history.