The old saying goes, a week is a long time in football. For Arsenal fans this week, never a truer word has been spoken. In just over 7 days, the balance of Arsenal’s season has been changed dramatically, leaving Arsenal fans in an awkward and uncertain position heading into the final few days of the transfer window.
When Arsenal flew out to Turkey on Monday 18th August, there were still just under 2 weeks left of the transfer window. Common consensus amongst many Arsenal fans on social media was that it would now be up to Arsenal and the potential progress or not, from the qualifying match against Besiktas, that would determine the remainder of their transfer window policy. With Olivier Giroud as the main striker, new signing Alexis Sanchez finding his feet and Callum Chambers impressing significantly against Crystal Palace, many did not see the issues arising in the next 7 days that now leave Arsenal exposed leading into the final few days of the transfer window.
Many fans expect Arsenal to progress against the Turkish outfit. Having said that at the time when the full extent of Mikel Arteta’s injury was not known, at the time when Giroud was still fit and at a time when Arsenal weren’t appearing to adapt too well to new formation Wenger appears destined to try out at every opportunity.
Against Besiktas I would expect the big guns to return, compared to the team that was present in Turkey a week ago. Mertesaker and Koscielny should be starting at the back. I’d imagine that Ozil will be in the middle of the park with Jack Wilshere and that we can expect an appearance from Joel Campbell or Lucas Podolski in one form or another.
On paper, Arsenal should go through. But football as we all know isn’t played on paper. If Arsenal qualify then the chances of a striker being signed are very high, unless Wenger decides to work with what we have, should the reports of Giroud’s ankle being broken be correct.
A specialist will determine the extent of the injury in the next few days. If I were Wenger, I’d trust my gut on this one and not let a specialist decide the next week’s transfer discussions. As L’Equipe tonight (26/8) report we have submitted a £40m bid for Edinson Cavani, they appear to be certain that Giroud is in trouble, having led the story release on Monday night.
In the situation Arsenal do not qualify, then this could change the complexity of Arsenals transfer window significantly, with an estimated £25m lost if Arsenal fail to qualify for the group stages. This could also mean Wenger doesn’t wish to delve into the bank balance, or could it make him go all out to try and make a team stronger to lead on just two fronts and let the youth team play out the less important competitions in his eyes.
Only time will tell, but in the grand scheme of things, a lot more will become clearer after 10pm Wednesday night. I would also hazard a guess that we may not make too many waves in the transfer market prior to Sunday’s game against Leicester.
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