The missing pieces
Arsenal are yet to find men to service their goalkeeping and defence departments. As the transfer window draws to a close, will the Gunners find the right men to add to their team?
Written by Basil James.
Less than a month remains for the transfer window to be shut tightly in our faces and Arsenal find themselves short of a few men. Promises of a new number 1 is still just that- a promise. The Gunners are ‘defenceless’ with only three center-backs available in the whole squad, definitely short of requirement in a the world’s most physically demanding league. Names continue to be associated with the club, only for rumours to be denied later by the parties concerned or for the players and clubs to have second thoughts.
Manuel Almunia was the number 1 last season largely because the second choice, Lukasz Fabianski was worse than the Spaniard. The knowledge that we need a new face between the posts is now so old that it is now classified along with the paleolithic age. Federico Marchetti has been the latest name linked to the club and all seemed set for the Italian to move to British shores until Cagliari, who currently employs Marchetti, surprised Arsenal and the goalkeeper by asking for an exorbitant £12.5 million. Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer too does not appear to be on his way to Ashburton Grove. As the search continues, time and options appear to be dwindling down for Wenger. As a new goalkeeper is a vital cog if the Gunners are to put in a mighty challenge for the title, one would have expected the club to make that acquisition a top priority and snap up a good shot stopper before August. As the window swings towards its sill, we are still short.
Unless Wenger has plans of making making Mannone or Szczesny the number 1 by the end of the season, Arsenal are seriously lagging behind schedule. Assuming that we can dig up a decent goalie by the second week of August, will that time be enough for the new recruit to gel with the squad and start thinking the Arsenal way? The new man would have to be vastly experienced and mature to dive into the league and hit the ground running. The season kicks of on August 15th and if we do not land someone by then would Almunia start our game against Liverpool?
Rumours are afloat about Emir Spahic (who?) joining to bolster the defence line up but now that too appears to be yet another red herring. Spahic’s club, Montpellier as well as Arsenal have denied that any moves have been made for the 29 year old defender. Spahic, at least on paper, would appear to be an excellent addition to the Arsenal squad. The Bosnian central defender captains his country and has 50 caps for his country. He played 34 games for Montpellier last season, scoring twice.
Montpellier themselves have said that they expect a huge transfer fee if the defender wants to move, even going on to say that Spahic is worth three times as much as Koscielny. Arsenal payed £12 million for Koscielny.
Arsenal appear to be getting nowhere in their attempts to land a goalkeeper and at least one central defender before this season, or at least the transfer window, ends. Arsenal desperately needs these players and the footballing world knows that. Arsenal may have to cough up some serious cash to land them in such a short space time. Let us hope Arsene knows.
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