One of the many of the topics Arsene Wenger touched on in his customary Thursday press conference before Saturday league matches was how he was planning on dealing with midfielder Mikel Arteta's injury and spell on the sidelines. In a very typical response, Wenger kinda sorta maybe confirmed that his solution to replacing the Spaniard currently resides outside of the club:
Asked on Thursday morning if he could sign a new midfielder before the end of August, Wenger replied: "We are not against that, no.
"We are like you, we listen to the names, sometimes I look who we buy in the media but at the moment as I told you we are not in an emergency case. We have the players we want but we are open as well to any opportunity until the end of the transfer window, who can strengthen our defensive department in quality and number.
"I can’t tell you how likely I am, I just said to you I am open to doing it. It has to be linked with the needed quality. I tell you something, if you ask today 20 top clubs in the world what they look for, they all look for the same positions. That means it is not necessarily out there."
Wengerisms at its finest. By my rough estimation, he said he was looking to buy a midfielder four separate times, while denying or closing the door on buying a player from the market three times.
Taken at face value, one certainly doesn't quite know what to expect based upon those quotes from above, but one thing's definitely for certain. Our first-choice holding midfielder is injured, he won't be back for a month - maybe more - and someone needs to replace his production immediately.
Mathieu Flamini is definitely not that guy, and Calum Chambers might have to fill in for Laurent Koscielny while the Frenchman returns to health. That leaves an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who should be starting ahead of an ineffective-as-of-late Santi Cazorla these days, or Jack Wilshere, who's left little to be desired (granted, without Mesut Ozil to help supply the forwards), lately, to replace Arteta.
Perhaps Wenger turns to, say, Oxlade-Chamberlain in the short-term, especially if he buys someone who'd start ahead of Cazorla at left wing. Perhaps Wenger decides to start The Walking, Talking Yellow Card while Arteta returns to health. But, perhaps, Wenger's truly on the hunt in the market; which player he ends up bagging is anyone's guess.