I was speaking to an old friend recently, who is also a fan of the Arsenal, and he was pleading the case for us to sign Gary Cahill in the January window. An idea which he seems to share with many of his fellow Gooners (or so it seems looking at blog world!), and this got me thinking about the current squad and the strengthening options open to Arsène come January 1st.
Personally, I would put my house on Cahill NOT coming to the Emirates! We currently have 3 centre backs battling for 2 starting places with back up offered by Djourou and youngsters coming through in Miquel and Bartley. With the current wage structure and the way that Wenger likes to develop young talent, could we really justify bringing in another first choice CB, and, more importantly, would Cahill want to be at a club where he plays half the games a season with Euro’s coming up? Personally, I think not.
Now, if you look at the rest of our squad with the equation of 2 players for each position and 1 youngster coming through, then it becomes obvious which areas need to be addressed in January.
Szscesny and Fabianksi are clearly first choice with back up through Mannone. Almunia can be sold.
Sagna, Gibbs, Santos and Jenkinson are first choice with emergency back up provided by Djourou and Vermaelen and youngsters coming through.
Koscielny, Vermaelen, Mertersacker, Djourou are first choice with back up through Miquel and Bartley. Squillaci can go.
Song and Coquelin are first choice with Frimpong backing up.
Wilshire, Ramsey, Arteta and Rosicky are first choice with Benayoun and Diaby in reserve.
Gervinho and Arshavin first choice with Ryo as the young talent.
Theo and Oxo as first choice with Benayoun an option if desperate.
RvP and Chamakh first choice with Park and Campbell as cover.
based on that assessment I can only see a couple of areas we could realistically strengthen. Firstly, our CM cover is currently provided by a 30 year old loanee and a lanky Frenchman who we all fear may never get back to his best. If Benayoun is allowed to go back to Chelsea and Denilson and Diaby are released, then we will definitely need another body in there. Will it be a £30m Goetze? I doubt it, but a signing would be required.
Secondly, Arshavin has been under performing ever since that magical first 6 months he had at the club. His wages are huge and could be put to much better use (RvP’s contract!?). Ryo is not ready yet so a gifted winger would be a bonus. Hazard? We can dream.
Lastly, Chamakh is looking like a shadow of his former self of late and has lost all confidence. It would be very easy to get rid and buy someone else, but with a red hot RvP, 2 new signings in Park and Campbell, and only 1 position to fight for, I can’t see Wenger buying any strikers just yet.
There are other arguments to be made, could we trust Coquelin or Frimpong in a big game? Do we have enough full back cover? Is Fabianski cut out for Arsenal?
Only time will tell wether these players have what it takes to become first choice.
Fans are crying out, as always, for Wenger to buy big in January, but looking at the squad right now, I think we could be in for a relatively quiet month come crazy season!
Written by FatGingerGooner