There are less than a week to go before the transfer window closes and so far, the transfer business seemed to be over for most clubs other than Manchester City, who signed two more players this week.
There shouldn’t be any news until Sunday and Monday, the last day of the window. Arsenal will be facing Celtic tomorrow night and Manchester United late on Saturday. Wenger, being the focussed manager that he is, will not be thinking about any new signings until these two big games are out of the way. I am sure, however, that his targets (if there are any) have already been identified to Ivan Gazidis for him to do his job. Gazidis, on the other hand, has been busy Arsenalising our stadium.
Wenger has hinted there might be one or two more additions on the last day, probably in the last 7 hours or so. I hope we can secure an experienced defensive midfielder on the last day but I will not be holding my breath for it.
Let us look at who might, or might not be coming in.
1 – Patrick Vieira
I’ve mentioned in my earlier posts that I would be very surprised if he joined Spurs, and he had come out to say it. Now that is out of the way, the question is: Will Vieira make an dramatic return to Arsenal, and Wenger’s first ‘repeat’ signing?
Wenger mentioned last week that he had not moved for Vieira but he still has enough time to do so if he decides before the window closes. It is still possible because he would not be a long term hinderance to Alex Song, who is still young. Vieira can also provide the necessary experience in our midfield and impart some vital lessons to aid the development of Song further. However, I have also mentioned that Vieira will be concerned about his playing chances should he return. He knows very well that he need to be playing regularly to stand a chance to be selected for the World Cup come the end of the season.
This problem can be neutralised by his own chances if he is staying at Inter. Although he has proved his fitness in pre-season, he is still not th first choice at Inter. He might think a change of environment might do him good and if he is going to be warming the bench at Inter, he might as well do it at a club where he made his name.
Probability of this transfer: 5/10
2 – Brede Hangeland
Wenger admitted he scouted the player but with Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas in stunning form, it is no longer necessary for another centreback. There are still Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos to call upon, and of course Alex Song.
Wenger also said we will not be signing Hangeland this season.
Probability of this transfer: 1/10
3 – Blaise Matuidi
The young Saint-Etienne defensive midfielder isn’t the imposing figure nor the experienced head that Arsenal is crying out for. But his name has been linked all summer. I have mentioned that his style reminds me of a player we already have on our books, Francis Coquelin. This signing makes no sense to me as he has very little top-class European experience and is unproven out of France and hasn’t done anything of worthy note so far. We also have similar youngsters at the club. However, this signing might really happen as top defensive midfielders are lacking and it is clear Wenger rates the player.
Probability of this transfer:7/10
4 – Marouane Chamakh
He has been linked all summer and it still baffles me that Bordeaux did not accept Arsenal’s bid, knowing he can leave for free next season.
He would have been a very useful addition, and he has proven in this new young season that he has added some composure to his gam by scoring 3 goals in 3 games thus far, helping Bordeaux to the top of the table. However, I won’t be losing too much sleep over this as we have enough cover up front. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that our attackers stay injury-free.
He might still arrive next summer. But I doubt there will be any chance of him joining in the current transfer window.
Probability of this transfer: 4/10
I maintain that we need one more good, experienced midfielder to complete our ‘massive’ squad and be competitive for a sustained period of time, as Arshavin mentioned, we are a little short on quantity compared to the other title challengers.
Let us all hope there will be something stirring next Monday. It promises to be a nail-biting final day.