U turn for boss at Emirates Stadium.
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backtracked on his previous comments that he will not sign any players in January by suggesting he is prepared to spend – if the right player comes along.
The Arsenal boss has now suggested the club could be active next month – although he hinted any acquisitions could be younger players, rather than the sort of big-name signing fans are clamouring for.
‘I will, if necessary,’ Wenger said in answer to a question from Al Jazeera TV over whether he would buy in January.
‘If we find a player we need who can give something more to the team then we will do it.
‘But the problem is people want me to develop young players. They want me to develop Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and to also buy players.
‘But the two do not go well together. You have to play players at a certain age or you lose them.’ (Metro)
This is quite a departure from Wenger’s comments in November, when he said, “My policy is to stick to the squad I have, we will not be on the market.”
He made those comments after his team throwing away a two goal lead to Tottenham Hotspur and somehow losing 2-0 in Braga, but aside from the narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester United, Arsenal have won every match since then.
The only other thing that may have influenced Wenger was the UEFA Champions League draw – where Arsenal were again drawn against Barcelona.
Could it be then that Arsene Wenger recognises that the Gunners are close to being in the top echelon of Premier League teams, but not quite there?
They do not need much to breach the gap.
The goalkeeper position was so long thought to be their weakest point, but Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny have surely proved themselves worthy at least until the summer.
With Thomas Vermaelen’s injury currently harking back to Tomas Rosicky’s seemingly innocuous problem that went on for around 20 months, Arsenal need a leader in central defence.
Both summer acquisitions of Sebastien Squillaci and Laurent Koscielny are marked improvements over Mikael Silvestre, and Johan Djourou has developed well, but an intimidating presence at the back would help enormously.
In addition, Alex Song has taken a more attacking role this season, and thus the defensive shield in front of the back four from last season is missing.
If Emmanuel Frimpong hadn’t sustained his cruciate knee injury, perhaps he would be filling that role. Even though he is just 18, Wenger has always advocated the policy that once a player is good enough, he’s ready irrespective of age.
Finally, as successful a signing as Marouane Chamakh has been, there is also a case that Arsenal need a top class striker. Robin Van Persie is immensely skilful and talented, but his injuries have ensured he has rarely plays more than half a season’s games.
Nicklas Bendtner is supremely confident in himself, but still has work to do to match it with performances, while Carlos Vela may be the best finisher at the club but question marks remain over his work rate on and off the pitch.
Perhaps Arsenal need someone to finish the countless chances they create – someone who is not afraid to shoot.
A move for Luis Suarez would surely be unlikely at the price of £30m mooted in the summer, but with Liverpool linked to the Ajax forward for just £9m last week, could he be the man to do that?
Who would you want Arsenal to sign?
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