Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he will strengthen his squad if a “special” player becomes available.
When asked about the prospect of signing a big name player to bolster his side, Wenger said:
“We are as many clubs, certainly on alert. If something special turns up, we will not turn it down.”
And while those words will give hope to Gunners fans across the globe, the French manager was quick to add a typically Wengerian caveat:
“But we are not as well desperate because we have a big depth in our squad. We have shown that because our midfield for example at West Ham and at Newcastle was completely different. We changed three players and we still managed to have a very strong team.”
Fair play by Wenger as desperation is never a tone to take into the transfer market. And to be fair, he does have decent cover throughout the park.
His side’s greatest need, most agree, is at striker where Olivier Giroud has been fantastic scoring 10 goals and racking up 6 assists in all competitions. The issue for Giroud is that ‘all competitions’ means 25 matches — a number many fear could trigger burnout in the second half of the season.
At the moment Giroud’s cover consists of an improving Nicholas Bendtner, a newly healthy Lukas Podolski and speedster Theo Walcott. Each has his issues – Bendtner tends to underwhelm while Podolski and Walcott are better coming in from their respective wings – but can still provide danger up front.
To bring in a big name striker to share the load with Giroud seems the right prescription if Arsenal are to maintain domestic and European title runs. Admitting that he won’t pursue Liverpool’s Luis Suarez – who Wenger infamously bid £40million-plus-£1 last summer in an attempt to trigger a release clause (that was subsequently reveal to not exist) – the Frenchman did not discuss any potential approaches.
While players involved in the Champions League or playing for competing Premier League clubs will obviously be difficult to acquire, a roundup of potential targets includes Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa (valued at £35M), Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema (£35M), Porto’s Jackson Martinez (£30M), Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko (£25M), Basel’s Fabian Schar (£12M) and Wolfsburg’s Diego (free).