Over the years, Arsenal fans have become used to some words from Arsene Wenger especially during the close season. Words that usually depicts that the club will not dip further into the transfer market because of a perceived saturation of players in a position.
Following the pre-season friendly against Boreham on Saturday, Arsene Wenger was asked about whether he would bring in another striker, his reply was:
“Up front we don’t need any more. We need a goalkeeper for sure and after that it depends on how our midfielders get through without injuries until the start of the season.
May be at centre back we’ still bring one in.”
Words of this nature have become all too familiar to those of Arsenal persuasion, particularly when this summer has gone well so far. But it must be laced with caution as the Alexis Sanchez signing has been the only addition to the squad. Mathieu Debuchy is a like for like replacement for Bakary Sagna.
Examining his comments on a position by position basis, the addition of Alexis Sanchez in the forward line means Oliver Giroud, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell are the players in that position, the names above smacks of quantity and not quality with the exception of Alexis Sanchez. This is before Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are brought into the picture.
However it is seen, the similarities of the players, means that another striker with height, pace and energy would have added something to the team which calls into question Wenger’s comment.
Then the most disturbing is the comment about the midfield area. It bothers on the ridiculous that Arsene Wenger would once again be banking on his players to stay fit before he reacts in the transfer market. Practically most of Arsenal’s central midfielders are injury prone, which makes it even more baffling that he would make such comments, Mikel Arteta is already approaching 33, and injury prone, Mathieu Flamini is 30, the less said about Abou Diaby the better, while Tomas Rosicky is approaching 34. Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are the only young players in that position of the field, although Oxlade Chamberlain can be added to that list of young blood.
Yet, the key position there remains the holding midfield role, which has been Arsenal’s albatross for years, for Arsene Wenger to claim that he would wait before moving in the transfer market is negligible. Perhaps, he may want to divert attention away from possible targets of the club, yet, these statements reeks of several in the years past that has stayed without much being done in relation to transfer business.
The transfer window might end up as an anti-climax for Arsenal fans if like previous seasons, key positions are not addressed with signings especially in holding midfield. As much as it good to read little into Arsene Wenger’s statement as the transfer window still has a long way to go, it however follows a disturbing trend that should keep fans worried.