Arsene Wenger is constantly asked about who, if anyone, Arsenal will be signing to strengthen the team when the January transfer window opens on January 1st. For the last two games he has given pretty much the same answer, that he does not want to react after a defeat, it is better to think carefully. He was nearly laughing at the reporter who quizzed him last night. Did they really expect him to tell them all his plans?
With the window less than a month away now, the rumour mills are turning faster and faster and Arsenal will be one of the teams linked with just about everybody. One thing you can be sure of is that Wenger will not tell the media which players he will be trying to buy, but there is often a little bit of fire behind all the smoke.
One player who will be almost certainly on their way to the Emirates is the Dutch international striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The only real question is whether it will be in January, or in the summer when his contract is up. The striker and people close to him have inadvertently let things slip, while his his boss at Schalke claiming that Arsenal have no money was so blatantly untrue, it meant he must be hiding something.
Huntelaar is likely to cost around £6 million in January, if Schalke decide to accept some money rather than see him leave for nothing. That leaves Wenger with a little over £30 million, if the estimates are correct. Assuming that he does spend it, as he surely will, who will he go for?
His admittance that Diaby and Rosicky have left him short in midfield would suggest a midfielder, either an all-rounder or a defensive minded player. Coquelin is showing promise, but is not ready yet and Frimpong is on loan to help his progress. I like Wanyama from Celtic. He is quick and strong and his youth and ability to learn and adapt make him just the sort of player for Wenger.
The performance of Jernade Meade last night may just have persuaded Wenger not to go for a specialist left back, but a versatile defender could be on the cards, especially if Djourou packs his bags for Italy. Arsenal have been watching the 20-year old Stefan de Vrij from Feyenoord, apparently, but I feel that Wenger may want a more experienced player. Any ideas?
We also need a keeper and a creative player. Zaha is an Arsenal fan and would bring alot to the club, but I doubt that Crystal Palace will let him go before the summer. Pepe Reina seems to be the favourite for goalkeeping, but the price of £10 million seems excessive to me, and we know that Wenger likes a bargain. Szczesny is class and we just need a better understudy, so I cannot see Reina coming.
It should be very interesting in the new year. I just hope that Arsenal have picked up before then and the pressure is off Wenger a bit.