Tuesday, 2 September 2014

One and a half hour to go...


As I post this it's exactly 2:07 am in India, and remembering that the window closes at 3:30 am over here, there's only around one and a half hour for the transfer window to end. A striker, defensive midfielder and a centre back were the order of the day (of the month, really), but as of now, it seems we're getting only 1/3rd of the requisite.

Danny Welbeck...
...is not a signing many wanted. For all the sagas of Higuain, Suarez, Lewandowski, Falcao, Balotelli stretching back to 2013, to end up with a Manchester United reject seems embarrassing. He may get us through the Giroud injury and the Alexis transition, but plenty are saying he wasn't the answer.

I disagree. Look, I know that Welbeck's not exactly the greatest striker in the world, but he certainly has the attributes Arsenal were hunting for. He's quick, he's powerful, he certainly has Premier League experience, and can finish better than Sanogo. In addition, he's one of those rare target men cum speedsters, who'd be a shoe-in for Giroud and would also be a long-term option.

The word right now is that the deal is £16m permanent, which seems good to me. At 23 he'll get better, and build on his qualities. Upon imagining the scenario that Giroud gets fit and Sanchez becomes the centre forward we all need, we'll have three presentable options for the striker role. Not the best by any means, but certainly a good, versatile bunch.

On other signings...
Truth be told, I'm hugely surprised. I thought that Wenger would buy a defender rather than a striker, but perhaps the fans' outpourings and Giroud's injury forced his hand. Even so, as we look to head into the new season with six players to cover four positions, I don't have an effing clue why Arsene hasn't gone for a defender yet. It's not even about quality, for Koscielny and Mertesacker are very good defenders with Chambers proving to be astute backup.

However, as yesterday proved, one injury leaves us struggling for options in defence. It's an embarrassing situation to be in, one even more compounded by Arsenal sending Miquel to Norwich permanently. I can only hope that Wenger has a defender in mind to buy.

Onto the defensive midfielder, and it seems we're not getting any. Rabiot has decided to stay at PSG, we've refused to capitalize on a reasonable counter offer on Carvalho, and we haven't made any moves whatsoever on Khedira or Schneiderlin at all. Crazy, just crazy. Everton and Leicester proved that aside from formations and tactics, we needed to change the defensive midfielder.

Our only plausible signing - Welbeck - may excite a few and anger the rest, but there's no doubt that he'd be handy. However, as I said earlier today, it doesn't even matter who Wenger buys anymore, his tactics, formation and man management always ruins the system. Knowing him, he'll probably play Welbeck on the left flank and bench Mesut Ozil.

Anyway, one and a half hour to go. Let's wait and watch for any surprises.

-Santi [Follow me on Twitter @ArsenalBlogz , I'll be giving transfer updates over there]