Arsenal transfer news: Summer bid for Oblak, Wenger's transfer window disappointment, and more - 2 February 2018
Gunners considering Jan Oblak to replace Petr Cech
The Arsenal No.1 is no longer the force he was for more than a decade at London rivals Chelsea. The Czech Republic player is prone to mistakes every now and then with the most recent one coming at Swansea in the past week. His understudy, David Ospina, has never looked like he can take over the mantle and it is natural that Arsenal will consider buying a goalkeeper in the summer.
Now, Evening Standard states that the Gunners are considering a stunning bid to bring Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak to the Emirates. The news outlet's Chief Football Correspondent, James Olley, spoke about the situation and said:
"With David Ospina almost certain to depart and Petr Cech facing renewed criticism, Arsenal will scout various goalkeepers with Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak a potential candidate."
"The quality of player Arsenal can attract, however, will be influenced by whether they can offer Champions League football. A second year without that income stream would also reduce the money available to spend on players."
While Champions League football will definitely prove to be a key factor, the 25-year-old will not come cheap in any case with his release clause reported to be £100 million. Nevertheless, Oblak is considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in world football and if Wenger can pull off the deal, then Arsenal will make the route to their goal a lot more difficult for their opponents.
Wenger disappointed on not adding a defender to the squad
Defence has been Arsenal's Achilles heel recently as relegation-threatened Swansea exploited it to score thrice against the London club in the previous match. The Gunners signed 20-year-old Greek defender, Konstantinos Mavropanos, at the beginning of the January transfer window to rectify the issue but the player is expected to spend time with the youth teams as he settles in at the club.
Thus, West Brom's Jonny Evans was considered as a possible addition but a deal could not be completed before transfer deadline day and the three-time Premier League winner stayed put. Wenger was asked whether he regrets failing to recruit a defender in this transfer window in his pre-match press conference today and he said:
"Yes, because our defensive numbers are not good enough and that’s where we needed some possible strengthening as well."
"We have to improve our defensive numbers. We want to go in the top four. We have to improve our offensive numbers and defensive numbers."
Hence, Arsenal will have to make do with what they have before targetting defender additions in the summer.
Giroud reveals Conte key behind his Chelsea move
The Frenchman joined Chelsea in the just-concluded transfer window as Arsenal signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund. The 31-year-old has been relegated to a substitute role in the Premier League this season and with the World Cup on the horizon, he was in search of more playing time to make it into Didier Deschamps France squad.
Now, he spoke about the reason behind choosing Arsenal's rival to Chelsea's official website and said:
"The most important thing was talking with the coach, Antonio Conte. I felt like he really wanted me and he really wanted to work with me."
"I wanted to sign for Chelsea and nowhere else. I really wanted to play more. I wanted to stay in the Premier League, and Chelsea for me is perfect because I can even stay in London."
"But the first reason is the sporting challenge. That has always been my first priority. Everything is here for me to be happy."
Thus, Conte and London proved to be key behind Giroud's decision. Meanwhile, Arsenal now lack a plan B in the form of a tall centre-forward like the Frenchman and it remains to be seen whether Aubameyang or Lacazette can adequately fill the void.