The dubiously named ‘Arsenal Brains Trust’ has done it once again; it has fiddled while yet another transfer season has burned away.
This time, the infamous “splash the cash” was even backed up by a number – 70 million pounds. It’s not an astronomical sum these days, but not chump change either. In my piece towards the beginning of the transfer season, I had wondered whether the Gunners would move decisively for a change and start filling the holes that are present on each line, or if we would find ourselves exactly where we are today – dumpster diving.
While we never were going to spend “silly money” like PSG, Monaco, or Manchester City, it seemed within the realm of reason that we could start to plug the lesser gaps – a goalkeeper, at least one central defender and some midfield muscle.
Fellaini at 23 million, a defender at about 10-12 and a keeper for 6-8 would still have left 30+ to go after an overpriced striker. Heck, we could have shelled out the asking price of 25 for Benteke and had spare change in our pockets.
Alas, all we have to show so far is another injury plagued talent — Yaya Sanogo. At least it was a free transfer. Of course, we just beat Manchester City, a dangerous victory – one that might prove lethal to Arsenal. Wenger might try to tell us yet again that we can win with the players we have.
The Gunners have done marginally better in shedding some deadwood, albeit mostly for free – Squillaci, Santos and Arshavin. They did save a bundle just on Arshavin’s paycheck, one would imagine. Likewise for Chamakh on loan. Gervinho brought in some money, as did Mannone.
However, there is still no taker for Bendtner, though it is not bad that the Gunners are playing hardball for a change. Why they wouldn’t persuade Diaby to retire may be the biggest mystery around The Emirates. At least the trainer’s table would free up a spot for someone. The other invisible hanger-on is Park Chu-Young.
Watching helplessly as the prize pickings get plucked by our rivals and other distant foes – Stecklenberg, Paulinho, Samba, the oh-so-close-to-signed Higuain – that familiar dumpster suddenly looms larger than life.
Ah, but there are some treasures left in the dumpster this time. Fellaini is still at Everton, Luis Gustavo is a signature away, if rumours are to be believed; Tim Krul could still be sprung; Pepe is rumored to be on the selling block. Last, but not least, Luis Suarez – for a change his tantrums are a delight to watch as someone else (Brendan Rodgers) suffers.
Or, will we bag an unsettled Wayne Rooney? Looking at the offers from Chelsea that have been turned down, it would be a supreme irony if Arsenal ended up paying more for a Manchester United discard than they paid to pluck our best player, Robin van Persie, from our grasp.
It seems like everyone is waiting for Gareth Bale, the face that would launch a thousand trades. If Bale completes the much anticipated move to Real, we should get Real shedding load to recoup some much needed cash.
We might see some real names (no pun intended) on the chopping block at bargain prices – Modric, Da Maria, Pepe? Bargain prices? Wow, we might actually see Wenger and Co. buying. On the minus side, Spurs would be dangerously poised to make a swoop for either Suarez, Rooney, or even both!