Season’s Greetings to you all. Yesterday Arsene Wenger took part in an online webchat, which brought us a stockingful of headlines in what would otherwise be a very quiet week.
First a round-up of other news: impressive teenage goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will spend a further month with Brentford. This kid is a big talent, mark my words. His performances in League One have been excellent, keeping three clean sheets in his six games there thus far. He’s been so good, in fact, that one almost wishes we’d bring him back…
Another player who could be heading out on loan is Jack Wilshere. Burnley boss Owen Coyle has been talking about his admiration for the lad, but there’ll certainly be other teams interested in him. I’d be curious to see what sort of impact Jack would make in a team lower down the league – my early suspicion is that he might struggle without players of the calibre he is used to around him, which is why I’d be keen for him to continue his development with us.
Now for some hilariously mixed messages from Arsene Wenger and Abou Diaby. Arsene has yet again pointed out that Diaby is, unlike Patrick Vieira (another tall black Frenchman), not a defensive-minded player. Elsewhere, Diaby is spouting his defensive credentials and touting himself as a potential replacement for Alex Song during the African Cup of Nations. Diaby’s talents are best employed further up the field – that holding role is far more likely to go to Denilson.
In yesterday’s webchat, Arsene broke the bad but ultimately unsurprising news that Robin van Persie may not play again the season. That obviously turns the mind to potential replacements and the January transfer window. Arsene has stated that he would buy a cup-tied player at the midpoint in the season, citing the example of Andrey Arshavin’s impact last season.
So who, if anyone, might we look to bring in? I can’t claim this as an original suggestion, but what about Everton’s Louis Saha? He has ten Premier League goals already this season, and is showing signs of the form that saw him succeed at Fulham and in his early days at United. He is strong, quick, good in the air and an excellent finisher. He also has plenty of experience in leading the line alone. Crucially, his contract is up at the end of the season, so he might be available for a knockdown fee – and, as far as I understand the rules regarding Europa League participation, he’s not cup-tied for the Champions League.
The one obvious downside? Saha’s injury proneness. We could just be replacing one sicknote forward with another. A stringent medical would be required, and even then his age would and previous record would make him a gamble. He is, however, a proven Premier League striker. We could certainly do worse.