Fans are jonesing for a couple of purchases by Arsene this January. We want a striker/forward, DM, CB and GK. We view a signing in the short-term, the juice to win a title this year. But Arsene has to look a bit above and beyond. After all, signing a player now may work for three months, but create contract and wage bill headaches in the future. This means anticipating future purchases requires a view in the looking glass, aka, how does Arsene view our needs?
Arsene has acknowledged valid arguments for a few positions, namely a forward and potentially a midfielder. But Arsene loves his head games. To try and sort through all of it, I’ve decided to break this down into three parts spread over the next three days.
Part I: the back line. Part II. the Midfield. Part III. Forwards.
Arsene is on record stating he wants 4 CBs. Right now we have 4.5, if you count Song’s ability to play that role as well. Couple of problems though, Song is gone soon and Senderos looks to move. As a result, we are going to be severely depleted and not able to provide any rest for the weary. And Silvestre, while I agree he’s a good role model, is a bit older. Finally, Gallas hasn’t signed a contract and Djourou is absent for this year.
Arsene, hasn’t spoken much about a CB purchase. But it’s definitely on the radar. This past summer he made two attempts (Vermaelen and Sakho). And rumors about the Subotic kid coming over this January have been somewhat common. Oddly enough, any purchases here will depend on Senderos. The Invisible Man. Should Senderos leave, Arsene might well be forced to purchase during January. With the curse of the left back position (we are on our fourth!) cresting, he can’t afford to lose another defensive player, whether through injury or transfer, without bringing in someone new.
Although not a CB, another player to watch is Eboue. Should Eboue leave for any reason, then Arsene needs to bring in a new right back, since we don’t have proper coverage for the CBs and two full back positions. So maybe rumors about that Dutch kid will come about. Regardless, it’s funny that our entire back line depends on Senderos. This must be making even Arsene a bit concerned.
So it wouldn’t surprise me if Arsene were to buy a CB or even a FB. Arsene has already (pleasantly) surprised us with the Vermaelen purchase. And, he’s expressed his desire to keep Gallas and Silvestre, while indicating some uncertainty remains in putting pen to paper on new contracts. This would seem to indicate he has some concerns about our back line. But again, with Senderos itching for a move, look for Arsene to make this his first purchase if Senderos is sold or packaged in some deal for a transfer. Arsene is likely to bring in a young up and comer that won’t challenge the existing backline, provide some rotation and rest, but allow for a more orderly transition down the road.
On a personal note, I would love the purchase of Sakho. Sakho would solidify the back line, bring some steel and leadership and might even allow us not to replace Song. He’s a player fans love to love. But unless Monsieur is willing to part company with Senderos now and Silvestre this summer, Sakho is unlikely. Sakho’s addition challenges the starting position of Gallas, and Vermaelen for that matter. A relationship Arsene is unlikely to test right now. A summer signing if there ever was one, should we pick up Sakho, it won’t happen for another couple of years, if ever.
Next up, Arsene and his beloved midfield.