As this article is being written, Arsenal’s chief negotiator, Dick Law, is in Germany to try and finalize a deal for the promising winger Julian Draxler before the January transfer window closes. But many feel this is a move that has come a little too late.
Arsenal currently has two league rivals, Liverpool and Manchester City, both of whom won on Wednesday to leapfrog the Gunners to go top of the league. Arsenal has now slipped down to third. But one look at the squad sheets is enough to know why Arsenal desperately needs new signings.
Liverpool, in Sturridge and Suarez has a great attacking partnership, one that has reaped more than a score of goals. However, what is also crucial is that both strikers also perform, and score when deployed solo. And as far as Manchester City is concerned, well they probably have more world class strikers than England have at the moment, with Negredo and Aguero the most profilic.
Arsenal, however, have only one proven striker on their paysheet – Olivier Giroud. Nicholas Bendtner is on his way out, and Theo Walcott is injured till at least the start of the next season. A good manager prepares for all eventualities, and has at least an extra option for every position on the field.
When a team is unable to put a game to bed by scoring that one extra goal, defenses usually slip up, even a defense as mean as Arsenal’s (the combination of Szczesny-Mertesacker-Koscielny has the most number of the clean-sheets in the league), which results in goals, as seen at Southampton on Tuesday.
Also, when a team is frustrated, tempers fly, as seen with the needless two-footed challenge by Mathieu Flamini in the same game, which has got him suspended for 4 games in the middle of a crucial run of difficult, difficult games.
And while Draxler’s arrival will be seen with a lot of joy by all Arsenal fans, one wonders if it isn’t a bit too late, that Wenger should have brought out the cheque-book at the beginning of the transfer window, rather than at the end.