A preview of Arsenal's January transfer window

Clive Mason

It's the calm before the storm, so before things get too cray cray 'round these here parts let's take a quick look at what options Arsenal might pursue next month

It's little shock that The Short Fuse receives, exponentially, the most page views throughout the year during the transfer windows.  In addition, many new members sign up during these times just to talk transfers, only to disappear until the next window arrives.  If you go back to some of the Luis Suarez and Mesut Ozil posts from this past summer, we were clearing, with ease, a thousand comments and clogging up the main page with every hint of activity surrounding these players and others.  So while we're waiting for Hurricane January Transfer Window to crash upon our shores next week, let's talk about what might Arsenal do during the 31 days of frantic activity.

First off, without mentioning any potential transfer names, what positions do you think Arsene Wenger should target?  As it stands now, Olivier Giroud is looking like a man who could use a bit of rest.  His backup, TGSTEL, is, well, a healthy body and really not much more than that.  He's not one I feel very comfortable starting in league matches given the current table standings, and his future past this season at Arsenal is far from secure.  Arsene seems to sign players in the January window to shore up current squad concerns rather than from a long-term standpoint, so if he's to sign a center forward next month, I believe it will be one on a low transfer fee/low-ish wage that will be a better option than Bendtner who can start in league matches for Giroud to give the Frenchman a breather here and there.

The other position that looks like it might get a closer examination from Wenger in January is center back.  There seems to be a bit of steam in the Thomas Vermaelen Exit Rumors engine, with the latest one coming from Naples.  I'll approach this from a standpoint that our captain stays put, since I simply don't believe Wenger will allow yet another center back to leave the club - especially in the middle of the season and in the midst of the fixture hell.  But at the same time, the club could do well in adding another center back for depth purposes.  There's little doubt that the Laurent Koscielny-Per Mertesacker partnership is muy fantastico, but as we're seeing with Koscielny's current knock (or deep ass cut or whatever you want to call it), we've got little room to breath if something were to happen to either Mertesacker or Vermaelen.  Again, like the need for depth at center forward, I believe Wenger targets a player for depth purposes here rather than someone who'll be a mainstay in the back four for seasons to come.

However, because this is Arsenal and Arsene Wenger we're talking about, we really never know what's going to happen.  Hell, he may sign an elephant on the Deadline Day, just because why not sign an elephant; they're little bit clogging on the pitch.  He may decide "screw depth" and back up the Arsenal Brinks truck to the dock door at Veltins Arena and come back home with a Julian Draxler in exchange.  He may decide to do the same thing at Vicente Calderon and buy Diego Costa (personal opinion: he won't sign Costa, but not because he doesn't want to sign Costa).  He may decide to buy another "huge name" that follows the precedent he's set with the Ozil signing to make a statement, or because he finds value in this window as opposed to the predictable rising transfer fees that follows the ending of the World Cup.  There could be a name, a HUGE NAME, that we all know very well that hasn't yet been linked to Arsenal that could easily crop out from virtually nowhere and, in a matter of hours, have his photo taken with the Arsenal home shirt.  Remember, this is Arsene Wenger we're talking about:

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So, does Arsenal pursue players for need and depth, or does Arsene Wenger target a world-class player before the even-sillier Summer Transfer Window inflates his fee?

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