With Arsenal perhaps set to face their toughest challenge yet in terms of Champions League qualification, it was generally assumed that they would be entering the transfer market this January. However with the window nearing its conclusion, Arsenal have yet to make any significant moves, and face a nervy final week as the look to strengthen the squad.
The Arsenal squad is still peppered with players on high wages that they cannot shift off their books, and there will be a focus on this in the last week of the window, as moving on the likes of Arshavin is key to having the finances to bring in new faces.
In terms of incomings, Arsenal’s first team is still full of good players, but they could use some depth in their defence and the centre of their midfield. Mohamed Diame has been persistently linked with a move to the Emirates, and there is certain degree of mystery over whether his £3.5 million release clause has been met, and if so, why West Ham haven’t allowed the player to discuss a move elsewhere. Victor Wanyama is another option in midfield, but he will likely be too pricy this January.
Yoann Gourcuff has also been linked with a move to Arsenal, with Lyon still in the tricky financial situation that saw them sell Hugo Lloris to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer. Florian Thauvin is another French player who Arsenal are rumoured to be keen on, with the attacking midfielder available for around €5 million from Bastia.
Arsenal are also likely to be in the market for a striker, and whether their efforts to sign David Villa fro Barcelona are successful could be a key factor in their season. Right now it seems unlikely Barcelona will allow Villa to leave, although Isaac Cuenca could be available on loan from the Spanish league leaders instead.
It’s hard to predict exactly what Arsene Wenger will decide to do in the next few days. He has tremendous faith in the players already at the club, and is loath to spend money on players only to come in as back up options. However a couple of well judged signings could make the difference in the second half of the season, and if Tottenham Hotspur make moves in the next few days, Arsenal fans will be desperate to see their club do the same.
Predicted incomings: Mohamed Diame
Predicted outgoings: Andrei Arshavin (loan)