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Arsenal: What now?

Arsene Wenger

By Basil James.

Now that the hurly burly has been done and the battle won and lost, the world has dragged its eyeballs and bottoms off South Africa and the football enthusiast returns to the pleasures of club football. The most captivating thing about club football in these months? Undoubtedly, the transfer window. Arsenal, looking to bolster a squad that has been ravaged by injuries in the past and a few players expressing intentions of leaving, have been particularly active in the market. Wenger has already signed a couple of players and seemed to be looking at options in midfield.

Top performers at World Cups usually find themselves attracting big clubs and bucks, even though for many it may have been their first time on a big stage. One such person is Mesut Ozil. The World Cup was not exactly the first time Ozil was put under the spotlight, having been an integral member of the German squad that won the Under 21 European Championship and a regular player in the Bundesliga. After some fantastic performances at the 2010 World Cup, it was only natural that the top clubs from England courted his attention. However, flinging a spanner in to their works, the 21 year old has announced that he intents to stick on with Werder Bremen and fulfill his contract, in stark contrast with some other creative midfielders of similar age playing in England. Arsenal, Chelsea and United were reportedly ready to sign the influential midfielder, but the case seems to be rested now. Ozil has one year left on his contract with Bremen and had refused to sign an extension, indicating that he might move from the German club. But now, Ozil says he might yet reconsider signing that extension. In fact, Bremen’s general manager has gone on record to say that he would rather lose Ozil to a free transfer next season than sell him now when he has the opportunity to play one more year at the club.

Another creative midfielder Arsenal were linked to was Yoann Gourcuff. Gourcuff was heavily linked to Arsenal before the World Cup, with Wenger reportedly lavishing praise on the player. After being a part of a disastrous French team at the World Cup, Gourcuff stock seemed to be low. Still, with some of the midfield gentry apparently on the way out in the near future, Arsenal would appear desperate to find replacements. Surprise surprise!!!

On July 12, Monday, Wenger told the media that “Arsenal were sufficently covered in midfield” and rejected any specualtions regarding Gourcuff’s move to the Emirates. Wenger said that he was not interested in signing the Bordeaux midfielder. Gourcouff has a 26 million euros release clause in his contract and recently Bordeaux said they would be happy to release Gourcuff for that price. Arsenal were rumoured to be in negotiation with the French club but Wenger has rubbished all such claims.

Meanwhile, Wenger is still in the market for a defensive player. Does he mean a center back? Or a defensive midfielder? Nobody knows. Only Arsene does. When Wenger said that we were covered in midfield, did he mean covered in attacking options from midfield or midfield as a whole? Does that mean Joe Cole is not coming after all? Or has Cole already agreed? AW certainly does keep his card close to his chest. He must address the goal keeper situation soon and everyone knows that Arsenal need at least one more defender. There is still some six or seven weeks left in this transfer window. I surely hope to see some great signings at Arsenal.

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