Arsene moved to quash speculation about Robin van Persie‘s career was in any way threatened by the injury suffered in a pointless international friendly. Wenger observed:
If you are very positive you would say [he’ll be back in] April. If you’re a bit cautious you say May. It is virtually the rest of the season. Personally I thought let’s put in my head that he will not play again this season and hope that I will have a good surprise.
That he will be back before the end of the season should not be doubted. The player will be desperate to go to South Africa, the Dutch FA equally intent on taking him. However, scant regard for van Persie’s fitness will do more damage than good, something that the player and his national coach would do well to remember.
van Persie’s continued absence has forced Wenger‘s hand, the manager admitting that he will be looking to strengthen the front line in the January transfer window:
if the right player turns up then we will do it.
As to whether or not this would preclude anyone who is unavailable for the Champions League, Wenger was unequivocal in stating that it would not:
We are going for the domestic title and the FA Cup aswell and doing that allows you to rest a player for the Champions League or play another player in the Premier League. Of course I would prefer the player who can play in both competitions and so it would mean the player has the quality to play in the long-term for Arsenal Football Club.
Speculation is rife that any number of players will be joining, recent additions to the list have included Luca Toni and bizarrely, Louis Saha. The Frenchman ticks the stereotypical box for nationality and would be a perfect fit having been injury-prone for a number of seasons. However, talk of players being cup-tied for UEFA competitions suggests that someone currently plying their trade in the Premier League is highly unlikely, albeit not entirely out of the question. That said, it is hard to see that anyone of the required abilities would be allowed to leave by a domestic rival.
Long-term target Chamakh of Bordeaux appears equally doubtful as an arrival with the French club still in the Champions League without a hefty fee being involved, something Arsene baulked at paying last summer. Perhaps if the situation became desperate, he may reconsider but if the Moroccan is to join, a freebie after the World Cup commentating commitments of the manager are over seems more likely. Edwin Dzeko is similarly doubtful with Wolfburg’s continued Europa League jaunt next year.
Wenger though has to act. Eduardo and Arshavin are his experienced front men with Vela the other option. Were either of the former to be injured, it would leave him truly short. Bendtner is expected to return next month but history shows us that he is likely to be back for a game or two before picking up a niggle or two on his return, making a full return probable in February. Either way, progress in the FA Cup will put pressure on the squad, the trip to Upton Park a tougher draw than in recent third round clashes and one requiring a stronger line-up than those occasions.
Whatever the case, it would be nice if it were all dealt with by the end of the first week of the transfer window. Last summer showed that not every deal has to be left to the last minute and it would quell speculation that Arsenal has little or no money, leaving that cliche to be applied to Liverpool.
Posted on December 23, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Robin van Persie, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, Transfer Speculation, World Cup 2010. Bookmark the permalink. 132 Comments.