In Arsene we trust. Well most of us do… Some of us have been left bewildered at the lack of signings this January, with the only signing being Kim Källström. A reoccurrence of a back injury sustained while at Spark Moscow was detected during his medical keeping him out for 4-6 weeks, however Wenger still opted to sign him. Why did he not splash out and buy Draxler? Why was Kim Källström being signed in the first place? And why was the big issue of a lack of cover for Giroud not addressed?
Arsenal have recently signed a deal worth in excess of £150 million with Puma as their Kit sponsor for the following season. Even with the fair play rules coming into play reports have suggested that Arsenal have £80 million to spend in 2014. Julian Draxler has a buy out clause of £37 million and has been universally acknowledged for the unquestionable amount of talent that he possesses. Arsene Wenger has been a keen admirer of the attacking midfield and sees the potential in him to convert him into a striker. Some have even gone as far to call him the new Robin Van Persie. A deal was reportedly on the cards for Draxler during the winter transfer market but the player has come out and stated that FC Schalke 04 blocked the move. If Arsenal really wanted him they could have got him and once again they have stuck to their philosophy of not paying over the odds for a player. Bayern Munich are also thought to be interested in the player particularly after Toni Kross stormed off the pitch in their game the other day. This could pave the way for Draxler who is a German international and has aspirations of playing for the biggest team in Germany. It begs the question why didn’t Arsenal pay a little extra to ensure the services of the young talent? Only time will tell about the true repercussions of this action.
There was one midfielder signed in this window to provide cover for injuries for Ramsey and Wilshire and a three match ban for Flamini. Oh wait… he also happens to be injured for 4-6 weeks having sustained a back injury on a beach during a recent tour for Spartak Mocow. Arsenal apparently knew this before they signed him. So why did they sign him? He has a 70% pass completion rate for Spartak compared to 92% from Arteta, he is not a regular for Spartak either, however he has 102 caps and this provides an immense amount of experience to see out the season even if this is in the changing room. When he gets fit other players may get injured and even though he will miss a few games now cover in that position is invaluable.
Nicklas Bendtner, Olivier Giroud and Yaya Sanogo are the only out and out strikers that Arsenal have left after getting rid of Park Chu-Young on loan to Watford. Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are unconventional centre forwards and do offer a different dimension to the Arsenal attack with the pace they have to stretch defences but Wenger has very rarely opted to start these two as the lone striker. Fans as a collective have called for a world class striker to purchased by Arsene Wenger. Oliver Giroud has done particularly well this year, but despite this fact he does not measure up to the strike forces of the teams around them with the likes of Arguero, Álvaro Negredo, Dzeko, Robin Van persie, Rooney, Suraez, Sturridge scoring goals for fun this term. With £80 million potentially avaliable there was an unpresendented amount of choice in that position. Maybe Arsene was waiting until summer when he feels is it easier to identity and obtain targets. Let’s hope so.
On the face of it Arsenal are still in three competitions and have a very good chance of finally ending the trophy drought. Without the addition however of a striker in this window that wait may just have got a little bit longer.
Photo via RuaraidhG – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruaraidhg/