I am the kind of person who just has to check the news every few minutes. I know that even if I don’t follow the rumors all day long the same transfers are going to take place. Logically there should be better uses of time than to check the Arsenal website and newsnow ever so often. But practically it’s impossible to avoid. Maybe, it’s people like me who are creating a lot of jobs for the reporters!
The last couple of days have been eventful but dull. At least some new names like Lacina Traore, Zarate and even Higuain have been added to the usual speculation, although there are different problems with each of these players.
Traore, for instance, fits most of the characteristics of a Wenger signing but he can’t be expected to come straight into the first team. If he is signed, it would be for a couple of years down the road and does not solve our immediate issues. If we have to sign for the future, we might as well sign Chamakh who could join at the end of the season.
Zarate was fun to watch when he was a Birmingham. He has pace and some nice skills that could trouble defenders. But he never looked like a Champions League quality striker. The sky sports report that linked us to Zarate also quoted his agent as saying that Arsenal will make a €40 Million bid for him. That’s just ridiculous. Wenger might not even bid that kind of money is Messi was available. To think that he would for Zarate is just a joke. Moreover, I always thought of him as a second striker rather than someone who could lead the line.
Higuain is a striker I have admired for a long time now. He can be the person to come in for us but he has done well at Madrid and why would they want to let him leave? The swap story with Cesc going the other way is an even bigger joke than the bid for Zarate. Are there some awards for creative journalism that these hacks compete for?
One thing is certain though, Wenger must be working really hard to find the right player. Someone like me has very limited knowledge and cannot think beyond the few teams that I watch regularly. So I am in no position to make any definitive comments on who we should or should not sign. But when you see names like Traore and Zarate in the media it’s not difficult to guess that Wenger has thrown the net far and wide in his search. At the same time, it is quite clear that signing the right player is going to be a tough ask. Most teams would not want to sell and those who do will want top dollar for their player.
I think the Chamakh situation is a big question mark for Wenger. Clearly, Arsene likes the player and is willing to sign him. His Bosman status would certainly be a big influence on Wengers decision. In such a situation he might not sign another striker right now with a long term view. Either he has to find someone who can come in on loan for a short period or find someone better than Chamakh who can play for a longer period yet fits into his strict pricing principles.
Hopefully, we will get good news on Bendtner’s injury after tomorrow’s tests. Wenger might also take a decision on a short term signing or a long term one based on those results.
Amidst all this talk of a striker, our need for a defender has gone unnoticed to some extent. Senderos is either injured or seriously out of favor. In either case he isn’t someone we can rely on. I think we need a center back far more than we need a striker. Apart from an odd link with Campbell, no one has talked about our hunt for a defender. Is it because the club are not that active in the market or is it because the discussions have not been leaked? I hope it is the latter.
The weather forecast for the weekend seems to be quite bad and there is a risk that more games will be affected. In a way it is good for us as our players return to fitness, but can we rely on them to be fit for the rest of the season? We might also play fewer games without Song which could turn out to be another positive. On the other hand, a fixture pile up later in the season could hurt us when the big games come up. What would you prefer, getting the games out of the way right now with whatever squad we have or have the fixtures pile up and hope that we get more players fit?