Arsenal FanZoner JC London examines where the Gunners need to strengthen in January.
Time for Wenger to join the January shoppers
I'm going to leave the search for a backup keeper, and a replacement for Andre 'I really like shirts' Santos for the summer time. I'm also going to work under the assumption that Theo will stay until the end of this season. So, here we go, in order of importance:
Despite what the Daily Let's-Just-Make-Stuff-Up would have you believe, we're not going to sign David Villa. Or Falcao. Klaas Huntelaar has just agreed an extension to his contract, which was due to run out in the summer, so that puts an end to that.
Fernando Llorente is a very real possibility. Having only 6 months left on his contract means that Bilbao are fairly powerless to stand in his way should the right offer come along, while at 27 he is coming to his peak. He'd command a reasonably big wage but, I reckon, is good value for it. Adrian Lopez is another Spanish possibility, but at 24 with a lot of potential (and a few more years on his Atletico contract) would probably cost us a fair bit.
The obvious choice, for me, is Demba Ba. A 7million release clause means Newcastle simply cannot block the move. He is also tried, tested, and proved in the Premier League. It all makes a lot of sense really, which makes me think that he might not be Le Professeur's type. It seems too easy. Maybe the catch is that one of his knees is made out of sticky-putty.
With Gervinho going off to the African Cup of Nations (and the fact that he has the technical ability of a drunk goffer) means we're a little short on the wings. The Ox, Poldi, and Walcott (yes Theo, you are a winger) are all decent enough options but we really need a fourth. At this point, our little Russian isn't an option. Of course, we're not helped by the fact that Poldi seems to think that a football game is only 70 minutes long.
We've been linked with Nani who, for a barrel load of reasons, I'd rather we didn't sign. There's also been talk of Stewart Downing, and this is probably the only case where I'd prefer to have Gervinho or Arshavin in the team. For me, any talk of signing a winger comes down to one name: Mario Gotze.
We've been linked with him for a couple of years now, so we all know what that means. It means, come this summer, he'll probably end up signing for Chelsea. If Wenger is going to break the bank for any player, please sweet fat chubby guy in a red suit, let it be Mario.
We need to call time on Abou Diaby's Arsenal career. Sad as it may be, his fitness record is beginning to make Owen Hargreaves look like the man of steel. This means we need to bring in some physicality to the side. As much as we all love the verb 'Frimponged', the guy himself is not ready, and I've never rated Coq all that highly. Maybe because his name is Coq? Maybe because he simply doesn't have the build for it.
We were linked with Yann M'Villa in the summer and, I suppose, that could be worth revisiting. There is little doubt as to his quality, but he is developing a reputation for being a bit of a 'Coq'. See what I did there?
In conclusion, I'm not really sure who we should sign, but am sure we need to sign someone(s). Let's leave the who's to the professionals with their armies of scouts.