Countdown to January
The January transfer window cannot come quickly enough fro Arsene, Arsenal and its fans. That we are still in with a sniff of the title is a minor miracle, but come January that miracle needs to end and we need to bring in players.
Many have been mentioned, in defence Matthew Upson, Phillipe Mexes and van Buyten. Mexes is an old target and the name fits the bill, van Buyten is an experienced player to replace Gallas, whilst Upson would be warmly welcomed back at Arsenal. His first spell was littered with injuries and coincided with the club having Keown and Adams at the back.
Another West Ham player would be a great addition to the squad, Scott Parker. The much travelled central midfielder would add the steel and determination currently missing. Parker works hard, and gets forward, he will be a similar player to Flamini.
It is well known that West Ham are strapped financially and despite the protestations from the Hammers, if Arsenal lodged a £12M-£15M bid for Upson and Parker both would be on their way to Arsenal.
Further afield, Velosso’s agent claims that his client will be moving in January for £6M. This is the player Arsenal tried to sign in the summer for £16M, but finances are tight at Sporting we are no longer in a seller’s market.
Arsene also has eyes on Standard Liege attacking midfielder Defour. He is another youngster at 22, but will give us the width and trickery that we are missing especially now that Rosicky is unlikely to feature at all this season and Walcott is not due back until March. The fee for Defour could be as high as £9M.
If Arsene allows Vela to move on loan in January and Bendtner is sold, we will be short of strikers. We should not need to look far for a striker and at a knock down price of £4m. The striker in question is Newcastle’s Michael Owen. He will leave on a free transfer in the summer, so Newcastle will be reluctant to let him leave for nothing. Owen is a player much admired by Arsene over the years and this will be the last chance to get him. Newcastle boss Kinnear has been an admirer of Song and Denilson, if Wenger brings in Velosso and Parker, he can let Denilson go which will sweeten the Geordies into lettign Owen leave.
There was a board meeting at Arsenal this week and the transfer budget was discussed and agreed. Do not be surprised to see Arsene being brutal in January; our form has had him annoyed this season and last time we were in such a mess he went out and bought Diaby, Adebayor and Walcott for a combined cost of £22M.
Do not be shocked if Arsene culls certain players and brings in foru to five players. Apart from Velosso the others are all eligible for the Champions League. If Wenger buys all five, the total cost will be in the region of £30M, less the money recouped on the sale of Bendtner, Gallas and Denilson, then the net cost will be £22M and we will have stronger squad.
January promises to be an interesting window for the Gunners, Arsene knows he blew it in the summer he will not do so again.