Arsène Wenger has said he will look to strengthen in January, but his claim came with a caveat.
Will anyone of the requisite quality be available?
“We are in a position where we want to do something,” the Arsenal manager said last week. “If I find the right quality, I will do something.”
The problem with January transfers is often that they are overpriced. Even then, there is never a guarantee that the player will have an immediate impact.
The most effective January transfers the Premier League has seen in recent years include Nemanja Matić and Luis Suárez, though even the latter took a little while to get going on Merseyside. Daniel Sturrdige was another deal done well by Liverpool, but a rare instance of a talented player who wasn’t really wanted by his current club – how often do they come along?
Ineffective or ultimately unsuccessful transfers? Fernando Torres (£50m), David Luiz (£21m), Wilfried Bony (£28m).
You can spend a hell of a lot for a flop in January, and that’s the problem. Juan Mata has been ok at Manchester United, but hasn’t warranted a fee of £37m paid in January 2014.
Arsène Wenger has signed top players in January before – Theo Walcott, Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Adebayor, José Antonio Reyes and Nacho Monreal all signed in the winter. Unfortunately, none of the above had much of an immediate impact. Andrey Arshavin was out best January move for immediate purposes, yet he was hugely hit and miss throughout the rest of his Arsenal career.
Perhaps a player whose contract is expiring would make a good deal, just as Chelsea signed Gary Cahill in 2012. Unfortunately, the top players with contracts expiring aren’t really what the Gunners need right now.
Ever Banega is quality but not what we’re looking for and has attitude problems, Sofiane Feghouli is no upgrade on our current wingers, Joel Matip and Nicolas N’Koulou wouldn’t get into our defence.
Miguel Veloso was once heralded as a future superstar but never played for anyone bigger than Sporting Clube de Portugal and is now plying his trade in Kiev at the age of 29 – is he really worth a move?
There is a big likelihood that Arsène Wenger really wants to sign someone in January, but history suggests any incoming wouldn’t help save our season.