Wenger: Arsenal Only After "World-Class" Players

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on August 18, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger has spoken about his transfer policy for the remaining few days that the window is open, claiming that Arsenal will only sign "special" players. Wenger went on to speak about how he feels Arsenal have a strong squad, but that he knows what he wants to happen if it happens. It's all a bit confusing, and typical Wengerspeak, meaning that I need a decoder or something.

Wenger also discussed missing out on Nuri Sahin, and he says some interesting things here.

'He wouldn't necessarily be a replacement for Song because Sahin isn't a defensive midfielder.
'I see Sahin as not a deep, deep midfielder, but a little bit higher.
'We have Wilshere coming back quicker and he is a similar type of player.

Finally, Wenger talks about how Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta would be fine as a defensive midfield pairing, saying that Arteta can do a Pirlo role, and that Diaby is a "good defensive player".

That statement, and the claims that Arsenal have a strong squad, is a tad worrying. It is true that Arsenal have nine midfielders, but out of those nine, three are currently injured right now (Frimpong, Wilshere and Rosicky), one midfielder, Abou Diaby, has a long injury history, and the other, Mikel Arteta, is very crucial to the side, being about the only player who can control the tempo of the midfield.

There's also a good argument to make that Abou Diaby is not a defensive player; while he can play in a deeper role, he wants to attack and score goals; his best performances in an Arsenal shirt came in a more attacking role in a 4-1-2-3 midfield, back when Alex Song did a lot more holding, and Cesc Fabregas used to create space by dropping deep. Arsenal didn't require two defensive players in the midfield last week, but when opposing teams have the ball for long periods, requiring Arsenal's double pivot to defend, Diaby is not very good at tracking runs and being disciplined, because he's not a natural defensive player.

This midfield of Arteta-Diaby, if both members stay fit for the whole season, of course, can work, but not against the best teams in the Premier League, because in those games, Arsenal can expect to have less possession. There's also question marks over whether Francis Coquelin is that player yet as well. Finally, if this midfield is to work, Arsenal will need to have a replacement for Arteta; without him, Arsenal played very poorly last season, winning only one game in the Premier League without him.

If Arsenal are to do more than fight to remain in the Champions League places, they'll need to reinforce the midfield. Abou Diaby returning from injury does not mean he replaces Alex Song, because Diaby is a completely different player to Song, and, was expected to be part of the team last season anyway. He is not "like a new signing"; only new signings are like new signings.


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