With the current season of the Premier League promising to go down to the wire, the January transfer window might have a huge say on the fortunes of the top Premier League teams come this May. The inability to strengthen in certain crucial areas might result in that proverbial slip between the cup and the lip. With the winter transfer window just a month away, Arsene Wenger will have a few crucial decisions to make if Arsenal will want to end their infamous trophy drought.
The current high fliers in the Premier League, Arsenal were given a huge fillip when Wenger uncharacteristically splashed the cash on Mesut Ozil this August . Since the German playmaker’s arrival, Arsenal have hit a stunning run of form which sees them sit on top of the Premier League table and also doing well in the Champions League. The beautiful football is now complimented by a gritty and determined defense not seen in recent times at Arsenal.
The midfield of Arsenal will be the envy of all other Premier League teams . With the quality of Ozil, Cazorla,Wilshere and the emergence of Ramsey , Arsenal look well stocked in the midfield department. Add to the mix players like Rosicky, Arteta and Flamini, Arsenal have plenty of top quality options to play week in and week out and mange the heavy work load of both the Premier League and the Champions League.
The one position everyone is speaking about with regards to Arsenal is the centre forward position . Olivier Giroud has done a commendable job this season leading the line admirably all on his own . However, the lack of options up front will be a worry for gunners fans. Though Walcott and Podolski will be coming back to the team after a long injury lay-off , there are still doubts on their abilities to be a proper goal scoring forward. Also Arsene Wenger has the option of Bendtner, but most of the gunners fans will agree that he is far from a viable option.The young duo of Chuba Akpom and Yaya Sanago still remain largely untested and unproven in the top flight, and this season might be a bit too early to integrate them into the first team.
All this means that signing a top quality forward will be a major goal for Wenger. Though Arsenal are doing brilliantly at the moment, another top quality signing will really give them that extra push and motivation to end their long trophy drought. A number of names have been linked with Arsenal right from Luiz Suarez to Karim Benzema . With Liverpool reluctant to sell to a direct rival , Arsene Wenger might have to look at other options.
Karim Benzema has long been linked to a move to the Emirates. Though he will cost Arsene around 45m, Benzema will come with the experience of having played at a truly top level club. With some indifferent form this season, Ancelotti might be looking to offload the striker, and having the striking duo of the French national team at Arsenal might be an inviting proposition for Wenger. Another French striker who could yet make his way to Arsenal is Loic Remy. The striker has started in blistering form for Newcastle United and he will definitely add quality up front . Also, Remy will be much cheaper than Benzema and could prove to be as effective as Benzema for a much lesser price.
Another name doing the rounds is of the former Milan star Alexandre Pato. Currently playing in Corinthias, Pato is just 24 though he has been in top flight football for the last 8 years. With Wenger rumored to be interested in him, Pato will defintiely add muscle up front if he can remain injury free. Pato will prove to be an excellent signing because at 24, Pato still has yet to reach his top form and Arsene Wenger can be trusted to bring out Pato’s best qualities.
The defensive duo of Koscielny and Mertesacker have been efficient if not spectacular this season. They have really linked up well and negated the threat from most attacking forces . The thing that will please Wenger the most is their improvement in defending set pieces and their positional awareness. Also with Vermaelen back to full fitness, Arsenal have three top quality centre backs and barring any major misfortune should be able to cope with these three for the rest of the season.
The full backs have also played an important role for Arsenal this season. Gibbs and Sagna have been ever present in Arsenal’s renaissance this season with the former especially displaying a lot of maturity and understanding of the game this season. Nacho Monreal remains ready to start for Arsenal, but the excellent form of Gibbs has kept him out of the team in recent times. One area of worry though will be the right-back position. Sagna has been pretty consistent this season but his replacement Jenkinson still looks a bit shaky when he has been called into action on certain occasions. Wenger might look to strengthen this position and players like Sam Byram from Leeds and Ricardo Van Rhijn from Ajax might provide excellent back up options with the latter also able to play in a center back position.
With Manchester City and Chelsea hitting their stride in recent weeks ,and Manchester United starting to find some consistency under Moyes, an addition of a top quality forward and an effective right back might be the answer to Arsenal’s trophy drought.Come the end of this season gunners fans will be hoping to say “IN ARSENE WE TRUST ” . This season something seems to have changed in Arsenal for the better and Arsenal fans will be looking forward to their team carrying this same form and confidence for the remainder of the season.Published 02 Dec 2013, 16:30 IST