Arsenal are enjoying a superb Premier League campaign. They’re top of the table, have played some phenomenal football and have even learned to graft and grind out wins on a few occasions. However, with Manchester City and Chelsea hot on their heels and showing no signs of slowing down, the Gunners can ill afford to take their foot off the gas and must instead floor it until they’re over the finish line.
At the moment Arsene Wenger’s side are maintaining a swift pace but while they’re on a five-match winning streak in the league, so are Chelsea. What’s of even more concern though is that City have stretched their winning run to seven. That currently leaves Arsenal just one point ahead of Manuel Pellegrini’s men and two ahead of Jose Mourinho’s.
That’s precisely why now would be a great time for Wenger to give his side an extra boost, something to keep their competition at bay, to see them over the finish line safely. Despite their form and the goals they’ve scored, there’s one thing that constantly pricks away at Arsenal fans – they still don’t have a world-class striker and probably won’t be signing one this month.
|It (new signings) looks very unlikely. We are 23rd January today and at the moment I must say we are not close to doing anything.
– Arsene Wenger
When asked about potential targets, Wenger made it very clear that they are unlikely to recruit anyone in the current transfer window. However, that’s what David Moyes claimed a couple of weeks ago as well only to go and all but seal a move for one of the best attacking midfielders in Juan Mata from Chelsea so the Arsenal support will be hoping that this is a typical transfer window smokescreen.
You can see why the Arsenal boss is not exactly desperate to make any additions to his squad. Olivier Giroud has done well to lead the line on his own and their star-studded midfield has ensured that the Frenchman is given ample support in the goal-scoring department. Meanwhile, the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are due to return from injury and hence strengthen the squad for the second half of the season.
However, there’s a certain assurance, almost a guarantee that comes with having a prolific center forward within your ranks that can’t be replicated. Good midfielders will always chip in with goals but there’s nothing like a striker on a hot streak. Admittedly, that kind of striker is at a premium and more so during the January transfer window.
Luis Suarez’s buy-out clause has been raised to £70 million for non-English clubs and if Wenger is determined to keep raising his bid one pound at a time, that could take a while and much more than money than the stipulated fee. But the likelihood of Liverpool selling their most prized asset in the middle of the season is little to none anyway. The same goes for Diego Costa at Atletico Madrid while Robert Lewandowski has already signed papers with Bayern Munich.
|Draxler or not | Arsenal are still in need of a number nine|
If Manchester United weren’t willing to negotiate with Chelsea over Wayne Rooney, they certainly aren’t going to entertain Arsenal and Carlo Ancelotti remains adamant that neither of Karim Benzema or Alvaro Morata will leave Real Madrid in this window. So things look pretty bleak for Arsenal as far as potential striking recruits are concerned. They have been heavily linked with a move for Schalke's Julian Draxler who again is an attacking midfielder and not a number nine. However Wenger has denied that the German would join them this winter.
This isn’t about criticizing Wenger for his failure to act, because he has very few options available at the moment, but instead it’s more about how this barren market, at least with regard to quality strikers, isn’t doing Arsenal any favours. This is by far their best chance to win the Premier League in nearly a decade and it would be a shame if it slipped away on account of their lack of cover upfront.
With Theo Walcott ruled out, an injury to Giroud would see them relying on a moody Nicklas Bendtner, an inexperienced Yaya Sanogo and Lukas Podolski, who is more accustomed to playing down the left flank or in support of the main striker.
|What is your opinion on Arsenal's barren transfer window? Send in your thoughts in the comments below or discuss with the writer on Twitter @BrendonNetto.|
It’s going to take an astronomical bid for Arsenal to land a quality forward now or they may need to procure someone on loan for the rest of the season. While the first of those options seems less likely, not many would have foreseen Mata’s move to United either.In any case, Wenger does have a problem on his hands and despite what he’s said so far, Arsenal fans will hope he has something up his sleeve.
They have a challenging run of fixtures coming up wherein they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League while tussling with some of the big-hitters domestically. Whether or not Arsenal finally end their trophyless streak may depend on what they do or don’t do over the next week.
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