We are almost 10 days into the transfer market, yet there isn’t even a sniff of any new signings around the Emirates. Surprised? A bit worried?
I am sure quite a few of us would be. I am often perplexed about the decisions Arsenal tend to make but after close to six years of fanatically following the club, I’ve realized that decisions need some time for their true value to become apparent.
That’s not to say mistakes haven’t been made with some of them quite obvious. But for a man who’s been in this for 30 years, not making mistakes would be impossible and that’s something you have to accept as well. That’s a part of being a Gooner through the highs and lows.
So getting into what I wanted to say, we’ve yet to make a decisive move in this crucial transfer window, unless you are convinced Yaya Sanogo is the next Drogba. I, for the matter don’t, so the question is, ‘Where the hell are the signings?’
With a transfer kitty that is good enough to land 3-4 marquee signings, Wenger isn’t short of cash. And if you consider how we scrapped fourth on the last day of the season, it’s acceptable that the alarm bells are ringing for quite a few of you. But what has resulted in me not panicking so far this summer is that I can see a plan being played out right before my eyes and I am fairly confident it’ll take us in the right direction.
Now, I could be completely wrong but I don’t think I am. While we’ve failed to land anyone so far, there is no doubt that we are in pursuit of some big names. That’s a good sign compared to these past few years. While a lot of transfer stories are made up by the media, not all of them can be cast into the ‘rumor’ bin.
Take into consideration our chase for a striker. Wenger probably made up his mind during the last three games of the season that he needed a better man leading the line. And he’s looked at some serious options that would pull us up a level. Rooney, Jovetic, Higuain and Suarez are not names that can be taken lightly. Our interest in all these players is a fact. Who we end up signing is a question that will be answered soon but the noises being made are positive.
And this year, I feel Arsenal are taking a different approach to squad building. If you looked at last season, we made our signings early on but all the squad players who were a burden remained with us and we ended up failing to find suitors for many of them. What if Chamakh and Bendtnar had left earlier? I probably don’t think we’d have struggled with Giroud as our only striker despite the shock departure of RVP.
But the deadwood are being cleared now and I think that makes it easier for Wenger to plan his squad. Denilson, Arshavin, Mannone and Squillaci are already gone. Bendtnar and Chamakh will soon follow. Add that to the loan moves of Djourou and Coquelin, we are left with a senior team of around 19 players. And can you believe that’s how small our personnel was last year?
I can see a CB arriving as Arsenal have loaned out Djourou so early that it can only result from the confidence of us landing someone. Wenger hasn’t given Miquel much of a run so expect a signing there. Wenger revealed last season the Coquelin was midfield material and that he’d be able to perform there if needed. This was a response to a question as to who could possibly replace Arteta if such a situation arises. Sometime around November I guess. So that’s another signing we can confidently expect. The case for a midfielder is strengthened further by Diaby’s proposed absence at least till November. And we all know how extensive Arsenal’s chase for an A-list striker has been.
More than what I’ve concluded, it’s the club’s actions that have really made me confident. We’ve already had three Arsenal players talk about a signing that isn’t official yet. When was the last time you heard that from inside Arsenal? And you don’t come out to the press and say we can afford to pay Rooney’s wages unless there is concrete interest. Gazidis isn’t a fool to publicly state we are stepping into greater financial times at the club and not bring in players, especially when it is so apparent that we need them.
Not to forget is the fact that a few AST members and bloggers were invited for a meeting with Gazidis. When you call in influential fans back in May and tell them that we are financially growing and that work for the summer recruitment had been already on for a couple of months, it only means that the club are confident of getting things done. Anything else, well…., that would infuriate the fan base and would be the biggest PR disaster in the club’s history. Talk about shooting at your own feet………
So Gooners, the signs are encouraging. Never mind clubs all around are signing big. I mean, look at the likes of Swansea, Saints and Sunderland. They’ve all been active and very impressive. But we really aren’t in anyway lagging. It’s just taking a few days more. And if you can read carefully into the club’s activities, there is every reason to be optimistic that the signings are coming!