While Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been busy luring some world-class talents to the Emirates this summer, time is running out for the Frenchman to continue adding to his talented pool of players.
Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers have all made the switch to north London in the last few months, but as far as some Gunners fans are concerned, that isn’t enough.
Depth in vital positions is what turns fruitless campaigns into those remembered for the ages, and while Arsenal will be full of optimism ahead of the 2014/15 season, their puzzle is seemingly yet to be completed.
That’s something that Sky Sports’ Jim White believes, at least, as he revealed via Twitter that the spending hasn’t quite ceased at the Emirates, per Sky Bet:
As White says, it isn’t just any old business that Arsenal will be engaging in over the next few weeks; rather, it's a piece of business that will see a big-name player become a Gunner.
The names that spring to mind are endless, particularly when you think about those that Arsenal need, but one stands out in particular.
Wenger is reportedly eyeing Edinson Cavani, who has been the subject of mass transfer speculation this summer, as the need to give Olivier Giroud a run for his money up front continues to grow.
As Anthony Chapman of the Daily Express revealed, the French manager is ready to launch a £51 million bid to lure Cavani to the Premier League, with the striker’s apparent lack of happiness at Paris Saint-Germain playing a big part in the move.
While it’s easy to brand such stories as nonsense, the chances of Wenger offering £51 million for a player after a summer of ruthless spending is basically nil, and Gunners fans shouldn’t get their hopes up too much.
Particularly since Cavani recently pledged his future to PSG despite being played out of position for big periods of last season, leading manager Laurent Blanc to say that he’s a fan of the Uruguayan wherever he is on the pitch, per Sky Sports:
He told you [the media] again he feels happy at Paris and it was not all linked with his position on the pitch and that is an answer I like because in football you have to think collectively. But it was no surprise from Edinson. Indeed he has a favourite position, but as does any other player. I am only focused on the team being efficient, notably with Edinson and that is clearly possible as we showed last season. He is a player with so many qualities that he can not only play centre-forward. He showed it during last World Cup again.
Coming to Arsenal and being the big fish rather than enduring a life looking up to Zlatan Ibrahimovic would appeal to any player, but Cavani’s apparent happiness and hefty price tag means that the move is growing increasingly unlikely.
Wenger has already said that he would not be bringing in another forward during this window, and while it’s true that what Wenger says and what Wenger does during transfer windows are rarely ever related, Cavani isn’t an attacking midfielder and it is those which tend to cause the Arsenal boss to lose his head and act all crazy.
Wenger is better off focusing his attention away from Cavani as the clock ticks down to deadline day, as it’s his defence that really needs bolstering ahead of attack.
Following the departure of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona, Arsenal suddenly look a little short at the back and will reportedly look to fill the void left by their former skipper by turning to a World Cup winner.
As Alex Harris of the Daily Express reports, Schalke’s German defender Benedikt Howedes is on Wenger’s radar, with the 26-year-old’s versatility appealing to the Arsenal boss.
With the ability to play at centre-back, left-back and also hold his own in defensive midfield, Howedes is the ultimate utility player—something that the Gunners would find useful in the upcoming campaign.
He proved as much with Germany in the World Cup, too, putting in solid performances at left-back and covering in the middle of defence with ease.
Howedes has three years remaining on his contract with the Bundesliga outfit, but if Wenger puts his hand in his pocket, then the Schalke skipper could be set to join his international colleagues—Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker—at the Emirates.
The Gunners would once again have to table a large bid to lure Howedes away from his beloved club that raised him as a youth, but such an investment makes more sense to Arsenal that a bid for Cavani ever would.
Squad depth and solidity are what wins trophies, and as the Gunners have more than enough attacking quality to fire them to glory, defence has to be Wenger’s first port of call in the next few weeks.
While it’s undoubtedly an exciting time to be a Gunner, investments simply have to be made if such excitement is going to turn into concrete, continued success.