Arsenal fans will be starting to worry about the January transfer window after Arsene Wenger’s latest statement about his transfer plans. I for one had a sense of Deja Vu as the manager talked about how difficult it was to get good players in the winter window and I could not help remembering the disaster of last season when Wenger only managed to sign the injured Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom on loan.
In a report by The Mirror the Frenchman insisted that he and the other back room staff involved in signing players at the club were working hard and doing everything possible to secure some top quality additions for the Gunners, but it sounds to me as though he is getting his excuses in early, especially after he went on to talk up the ability of our Spanish left back Nacho Monreal as a central defender.
Wenger said, “You have to give us time. We do our job as always. This season we bought five players who are all top quality so I think we have done really well on the transfer market and we try to repeat that in January.
“I would like to remind you that, to buy football players, is not to go into a supermarket and just say: ‘I want to buy a right back or a centre back.’ It’s to find the right quality.
“If you go out tomorrow you will see that everybody looks for the same positions everywhere. It’s not as simple as it looks.
“In January it makes it even more difficult because players are even less available than in June or July. But we will try to be creative and have one or two good ideas.
“I always have lists that you readjust because you come in on Monday, someone has seen a player and you have to follow up, watch him again, then watch him again and someone else has to watch him. Then when you come to conclusion I have to watch him. It takes time so that work never stops.
“I think I’ve made over 300 transfers since I’ve been here. This year again we made some quality transfers. If I make a quick decision you will say: ‘he made a rush decision’ when the guy doesn’t work.
“I can, for example, get on a case with a player who has a clause, a buyout clause, you watch him one time and think: ‘oh, that’s really special.’ The next day, the guy has gone to Real Madrid!
“He [Monreal] is playing very well, he doesn’t get enough credit for the quality of his performances because against Manchester United, against Dortmund, he was in the top three for me with the quality of his performance.
“You have to give me some credit because I’ve seen that he can play there. I tested him before the season started at the Emirates tournament and I could see that he understands well, he reads well, the game. It’s the most important quality in this position.
“Of course, after that there is the question mark ‘Can he cope with the physicality of this job?’ because he is not a major frame but game by game, he becomes more aggressive because he understands the game, he can get in front of people. That is a very important quality.
“He is committed. He has an excellent mentality, excellent attitude, top class, I must say every day focused, doesn’t talk too much and does his job.”
Does that sound like a man who is desperate to sign a top quality centre back, as he has previously stated? Many of is fans think he should have done so in the summer and that has cost us badly already this season. And do we really believe that nobody better than Kallstrom was available last year? Are you as worried as me?