Being the good, kind gentleman he is, Arsene Wenger very generously participated in a live webchat on the official Arsenal website last night.
Although a lot of that chat was quite trivial, he did make some interesting comments about Robin van Persie’s ankle injury and revealed his thoughts on the need for a replacement. After repeating again that van Persie is more than likely to miss the rest of the season Wenger reiterated his desire to purchase a striker in the January transfer window and also made it clear that eligibility for the Champions League would not be the deciding factor.
“Sometimes you think that is a bargain you cannot turn down and don’t forget Arshavin got us in the Champions League last season. Of course I would prefer the player who can play in both competitions and so it would mean the player has the quality to play in the long-term for Arsenal Football Club. But we have an interested eye on the transfer window and if the right player turns up then we will do it.”
It’s all very interesting, isn’t it?
I have to say there are a few names around that play for Champions League clubs that tickle my fancy. Lyon’s Lisandro Lopez is one, Wolfsburg’s Edin Dzeko another, while Bordeaux’s Marouane Chamakh will remain a tabloid target for as long as he holds out extending his contract. All three players are relatively tall, adept at holding the ball up and have the skill to play the passing game that Wenger values. Lisandro Lopez especially, in my opinion.
I certainly agree with the manager that being cup-tied is not the be all and end all. With Chelsea having several key players heading to Africa soon, Manchester United faced with a defensive injury crisis of epic proportions and the rest of the teams failing to completely convince, it would not be amiss to say we have as good a chance to win the league this season as we did in 2007.
It’s important to remember is that despite getting good results we’re not playing particularly well at the moment and that is simply because we lack a bit of physical presence up top. Signing a player capable of slotting straight into the team would solve that problem and give us a very good opportunity to go top early in 2010 and attempt to stay there for the rest of the season.
To refrain from signing the right player because he is European cup-tied when we have such a great opportunity to win the league would be madness. Fortunately Wenger appears to agree.
Let me know which striker you think would fit in well for Arsenal by leaving a comment.