August 28, 2012
Four days to go until the transfer window smashes shut and while it’s been a bit of a quiet start to the week I fully expect the rumour mill’s about to go into overdrive.
Everyone seems pretty much agreed that having the window overlap with three weeks of the Premier League season is ‘a bad thing’ but as far as I can tell, FIFA don’t much care about what you or I or every single manager and chairman of every single club thinks about the way things are done so it seems like the system is here to stay.
What it does mean is that Arsene Wenger has had a bit more of a chance to see how his new squad are settling before making any final decisions about what other players if any to bring in. And while, unsurprisingly, Le Boss has been assuring us not to panic regarding our lack of goals so far and rightly reminding us that new players take time to settle, you do wonder if what he’s seen may have a bearing on who he decides to sign.
When he was asked a couple of weeks ago about his targets he mentioned looking for a defensive midfielder and a defender. And while I’ve no doubt that whoever he had in mind then he will still have in mind now and that he’ll be well aware of where he believes the weaknesses lie in his squad, there must surely be a part of him that’s more worried now about our ability to score goals than our ability to keep them out. While it’s clearly only early stages, so far the work that Steve Bould has done on the defensive shape of the team has shown a lot of promise and I wonder if, rightly or wrongly, Le Boss is wondering if he could save a few quid there and throw some money at a shiny new forward.
As we know, we’re not only looking to bring players in this week, we still have a raft of players to push out the exit door and chief among them are Chamakh, Park and Bendtner, all heavily linked with moves away to a variety of clubs. If we do manage to get rid then in addition to Van Persie that’s four strikers we’ll have lost this summer and with Benik Afobe also sent out on a season long loan, surely there’s a vacancy there for another centre forward.
The extraordinarily unreliable whispers on Twitter link us with a move for Edin Dzeko this morning which sounds like it might have had a bit more to it when we were offering Robin Van Persie in return and before Sergio Aguero picked up his knock. Great player that he is I feel like he’s a little too similar in style to Olivier Giroud and would love to see us looking at somebody a bit stronger and pacier who’s going to play on the shoulder of the opposition centre backs and spin into space looking for Cazorla’s through balls. I watched Romelu Lukaku come off the bench against Spurs at the weekend and he looked extremely dangerous. Staggering that Chelsea don’t even need him this season.
The superb displays of Mikel Arteta in that deep lying role will surely have begged the question of, like last season, what do we do when he’s not fit, and I’m sure a midfielder is still a priority. As usual, Yann M’Vila sounds the most likely candidate and with Spurs having apparently put in a bid of £12 million for him this week, we may be forced to finally act to get our man. How that policy of sitting back to drive the price down may have backfired if we end up in a bidding war with our newly flush neighbours in the last week of the window.
Elsewhere both the Sun and the Mirror link us with Montpellier’s 23 year old captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, the former believing us to be in a battle with Chelsea, the latter claiming we’re about to lose out to AC Milan and Napoli for the services of the versatile defender. He’s only got a year to run on his contract so the suggestion is we could nab him for a bargain fee, something we’ve become quite specialist at in recent times. That and the fact that he can play at both right back and centre back make him sound like a feasible candidate.
Mind you, with some of the commentary we’ve been forced to sit through in recent games I’m not sure they’d be able to handle us signing M’Vila AND Yanga-Mbiwa. And every time they exchange passes I’ll be forced to burst into song.
‘M’Vila. Mbiwa. Mbiwa. M’Vila.’
Let’s call the whole thing off!
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