Vermaelen is Coming Back for Arsenal – Samba is Still Available
Thomas Vermaelen is expected to be back from his achilles injury before the end of January after completing a full day of training without any problems. After suffering an injury to his achilles on international duty in August, the Belgian, who was impressively solid at the back in his first season at the Emirates has missed the majority of his sides games, provoking Arsene Wenger to contemplate dipping into his pockets, and bringing a new defender to Arsenal as a replacement for the 25 year-old Vermaelen.
Wenger had admitted however, that he will see how Vermaelen is towards the end of January, and then make a decision as to whether to use the transfer market to add to his defence. The manager was also adamant that no new signings will be made in January in any other position:
“In the offensive department, [a new signing] is completely excluded. In midfield, completely excluded,”
“With the goalkeepers, I stand as firm as ever.
“At the back, it just depends on Vermaelen. I am just waiting to know more about him, and then at the end of January we will have to make a decision.”
Wenger has been linked with a move for Blackburn Rovers captain Christopher Samba after the no-nonsense powerhouse announced his displeasure towards the attitude of the new owners as well as the odd sacking of Sam Allardyce, and claimed he wants no part in the future of the club. Different figures are being bounced around for his price, but the player would certainly be affordable, at around £8 – 10 million. He would add better solidity in the Arsenal back line, and contrast with the inconsistencies of Wenger’s summer signings, Squillaci and Koscielny as well as adding to the squads strength in depth.
The Gunners defence was hardly troubled against Manchester City as Arsenal did all the attacking, and City did all of the defending, but to challenge for the title, Arsenal need a top class defence, a consistent defence and a defence that can cope with the best attacks. Wenger said:
“The first signs of how he feels will be very important. Should he not be able to come back quickly, central defence is an area in which we would be short, but rather than talk about transfers I would like to focus on the squad we have, and ensure everyone makes his contribution to the team’s success.”
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