Arsene Wenger may have a transfer deadline day surprise up his sleeve after hinting he will attempt to strengthen Arsenal's squad over the next three days.
"I have nothing to tell you tonight, maybe I hope we have something to tell you because we lost a few players now," said Wenger.
If the Arsenal boss needed a final push to try and sign Schalke's Julian Draxler, the Jan. 28 draw at St. Mary's provided it.
Should Arsene Wenger try to sign Julian Draxler before the transfer window shuts?
Arsenal played poorly in the first half and failed to cope with the energy of the opposition's midfield.
Mathieu Flamini, who has been a stalwart in the Gunners' midfield this campaign, was shown a straight red card for a reckless two-footed challenge, ruling him out of the next three matches.
Aaron Ramsey has also irritated an injury and is likely to miss a further few weeks of action, per Bleacher Report UK guest columnist and talkSPORT host Stan Collymore:
Aaron Ramsey. Possible out for 4-6 weeks with tendon injury.— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) January 28, 2014
Wenger has continuously been linked with a £37 million deal for Draxler, a move the manager previously called an "illusion", per ESPN.
The Gunners boss has witnessed consistent injuries to his midfield this season, as Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta have all spent time on the sideline at some point.
Draxler could provide respite heading into a season-defining period for the club, as noted by Bleacher Report UK:
Arsenal's fixtures in February and March. Daunting? Daunting: pic.twitter.com/usSakG0wKs— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) January 26, 2014
Schalke's German starlet is blessed with both attacking and defensive qualities, so his presence would provide cover across a number of positions. Although naturally offensive, Draxler is the type of player who can slot in and work hard for the team in any position.
It seems the 20-year-old's link to the club will not disappear until his future has been sorted, but if Wenger really wants to acquire one of the best young midfielders in the world, now is the time to do it.
The conditions are right for a transfer; Arsenal's squad could use a boost and Draxler doesn't appear to be on the imminent wishlist of other major clubs.
Fast-forward to the summer, and Wenger would likely have a much bigger battle on his hands.