The Arsenal situation has been interesting this term. Despite his long and illustrious spell in north London, Arsene Wenger’s tenure is once again the subject of debate, with transfer failings a recurring argument when it comes to shipping the Frenchman out.
That makes this January an intriguing one, with Arsenal clearly lacking in a number of areas. Numerous targets are thought to be available for the right price, but big decisions will have to be made in north London… and here are FIVE we think are pressing…
This may seem like a silly question when Wenger is involved, but the Frenchman may be forced into opening the chequebook more often that he would ordinarily opt to. The Gunners have endured a tricky start to the season, but a few wise additions in key areas could help them get over the line (the top four, as always) comfortably, with their rivals all stuttering.
Rumours suggest Wenger has £20m, plus revenue from sales, to spend, and although this is not a vast amount, it could be enough to get a couple of decent squad players to the Emirates Stadium, or one classy performer.
Winston Reid, Virgil van Dijk, Fabian Schar… this trio seem to be the main targets for Wenger, who is believed to be chasing a centre-back above all other options. The Gunners have relied heavily on Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal to play out of position at the heart of the defence, which has contributed to a number of goals, following the sale of Thomas Vermaelen.
It’s clear that an orthodox enforcer is needed, but the Londoners will have to make a concrete decision on whom they want.
While centre-back problems are pressing, Arsenal also have issues in the middle of midfield. Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere are currently out of action through injury, which has left Wenger reliant on a small pool of stars. A short-term loan option – Kim Kallstrom, anyone? – may be wise, but the Gunners boss may opt to use Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a central role for some games.
This one is a little contentious, but worth discussing… should Arsenal back Wenger or hold funds in case the Frenchman is replaced? The Gunners chief’s future is far from clear, and calls from the stands for him to step down at the end of the season may sway the veteran boss’ stance over the coming months.
Giving money to him to spend if he’s likely to no longer be around in six months’ time makes little sense, so that’s something Emirates Stadium chiefs may take into account.
While qualifying for the top four is always the aim, a kind draw against Monaco presents Arsenal with a good chance of going far in the Champions League. Once into the last eight, pretty much anything is possible, and underdog sides have frequently gone far.
Signing non-cup tied players may make sense should Arsenal look to target continental glory, with a host of targets having already featured in UEFA competition this term…