Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not in an enviable position right now.
The midseason transfer period is nearly complete, and despite being vocal about his desire to add talent this month, he has failed to do much at all.
The Gunners are 19 points behind Premier League leader Manchester United, currently in the No. 6 position behind Everton. Wenger has faith in his squad, but as quoted by Sky Sports, he also feels that overtaking United is out of the question right now:
It was a fantastic opportunity (to win the league) this season. To catch Manchester United now is out of sight at the moment. We have to get closer to the people in front of us first before we can think that. United is far but there is no untouchable team in the country at the moment. That is for sure.
It seems Wenger is torn between his faith in his club and the idea of spending money to add some valuable pieces during the transfer window. Faith will only get the Gunners so far, though, and adding more pieces should be a priority right now.
According to Richard Arrowsmith of the Mirror, Arsenal have been linked to West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame. While both he and the club have stated their disinterest in making a deal to move Diame, now is the time for Wenger to really push the matter, if he wants to make a move.
Wenger has been concerned with affordability in the transfer period, despite the financial backing from Arsenal’s owners. He promised to “spend big,” but there has been nothing to show for it with just one week left for transfers.
Diame offers the affordability Wenger has focused on. He reportedly has a buyout price of just £3.5 million and would add depth and tenacity at the midfielder position. Now is the time to make a move.
According to Arrowsmith, West Ham has not received any formal bids for Diame and “they would not welcome one.” Still, it’s hard to believe there isn’t a price that might sway the club, and Arsenal should at least make an attempt to lure him away from West Ham.
For Wenger, this situation should no longer be about players or money—it should be about making good on a promise to come up big. Fans are growing more and more unhappy with his unwillingness to show any progress in improving the club.
Arsenal are not in a position to win the Premier League right now, and it seems like they are simply treading water at a point where it is crucial to swim forward.
Diame may not be the piece that will put Arsenal over the top, but pushing hard to acquire him would at least show fans Wenger is trying to improve his club. With only a week remaining in the transfer period, he has to do something.