Injuries to key players late in the transfer window must be a nightmare for managers.
A whole summer of preparation is geared towards getting a functional and flourishing team on the pitch, but one knock and a subsequent spell on the sidelines can cast plans into disarray, often prompting clubs into make desperate late forays into the transfer market.
Arsene Wenger may have felt he’d done enough to avoid the ferocious hyperbole that is the latter stages of the transfer window, but with the news that his senior centre-forward Olivier Giroud is set for around three months on the sidelines, will he be encouraged to move for a striker?
Naturally, a plethora of links with potential suitors have emerged, and rather excitingly for Arsenal fans, one of them is goalscorer extraordinaire Radamel Falcao. Here’s the very latest on his future, and that of two holding-midfield options that have been linked with the Gunners.
Confusion Reigns Over Falcao Future
Arsenal are one of a plethora of clubs that have been linked with the Colombian goal machine, but there are conflicting reports about whether the player is a viable option for the Gunners.
According to Metro, Arsenal have a free run at the player after previous favourites for his signature Real Madrid pulled out of the race to sign the 28-year-old. Encouraging for the Emirates faithful, the reports suggests that senior Arsenal officials have held talks with Monaco regarding a transfer and that the player is also keen on a move to North London.
If the report is true, then here’s what Falcao could bring to Wenger’s team:
But according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague—the man who broke the news of Angel di Maria’s transfer to Manchester United—Arsenal are unlikely to secure the player's signature. He confirmed this in a question and answer session with Bleacher Report and on his own personal Twitter account:
Taking a second to imagine Falcao spearheading this Arsenal line-up is certainly a tantalising proposition.
His forensic predatory instincts would be a magnificent foil for the creative, intricate talents of the Gunners’ midfield and the Colombian’s ability to swing games in the blink of an eye would give Arsenal serious impetus in the race for the Premier League title.
But after splashing the cash this summer, it’d be understandable if Wenger decided against this purchase. The money that’d be spent on him, the player’s age and the fact he’s returning from a major injury layoff do admittedly make him something of a risk, and subsequently Arsenal may look at other options to bolster their front line.
Adrien Rabiot Poised For Roma Switch
The Gunners seem set to miss out on signing the young midfielder after reports emerged suggesting AS Roma have won the race for his services.
According to L’Equipe (h/t Vaishali Bhardwaj of Metro), the Italians have agreed a fee of £11.4 million for the 19-year-old, who has showcased plenty of potential in his various displays for the French champions.
Here’s some of the attributes that have made Rabiot such hot property this summer:
While the Frenchman has undeniable potential, Arsenal would have been naive to spend that amount of money on a teenage midfielder. Wenger already boasts a stellar cast of players capable of operating in central areas, and although Rabiot could have added some defensive steel to that area of the pitch, it’s an area in which the Gunners are crying out for a more experienced operator.
Arsenal Lead The Race For William Carvalho
That man could be come in the form of Sporting Lisbon’s dynamic young midfielder, and according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo (h/t Sam Jordan of Squawka.com), the Gunners are the team closest to securing his signature.
And speculation surrounding the player’s future with the Lisbon outfit increased further when the club’s president failed to rule out the possibility that players could be leaving the club before the transfer deadline:
I do not believe that there will be many [comings or goings], but anything is possible.
We will see. Sporting is very calm, but you never know what can happen, who teams want and what offers they want to do or whether they’ll beat any termination clause. Sporting currently has an almost completed squad. We’ll see if there’s any surprise.
At 22 years old, Carvalho is a player that has plenty of room for improvement, but he’s already played in a World Cup and in European competition, giving him a level head and a maturity that surpasses his tender years.
Here he is showcasing those qualities on the pitch:
Factor in his stunning physicality and tenacious playing style, and he could well be the perfect signing to beef up a Gunners midfield that is as flamboyant as it is fragile. And if the Portuguese giants have lowered their asking price for the player, as reported by ESPN, then Wenger would be wise to swoop for this excellent holding midfielder.