Those Arsenal supporters hoping to sign Radamel Falcao on deadline day will have been disappointed to learn that Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign the Colombian on loan, per Simon Stone of BBC Sport, but reports are suggesting the Gunners may not be quite finished in the transfer window yet.
According to Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express, the club are set to launch a £40 million bid for Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus, and they’re hoping the German giants cash in before the player’s £25 million release clause becomes active next summer.
In Arsenal's previous Premier League outing—a 1-1 draw with Leicester City—the travelling supporters pleaded with Arsene Wenger to sign a forward. But the Arsenal manager insisted that while he was unsure whether the club would be conducting any business on the final day of the window, he was happy with his striking options, per John Cross of the Daily Mirror:
We have plenty of strikers. Even when we had Giroud - now everyone says suddenly ‘you cannot replace Giroud.’ But when we had Giroud you asked me the same question.
It’s a recurrence, as long as the transfer market is open, to make everybody dream, by thinking the solution is always somewhere, but it’s not necessarily obvious. I don’t want to promise you. I don’t like to promise what I am not 100 per cent sure about. It doesn’t depend on me.
Indeed, Cross is concerned that the Arsenal boss will refuse to move for a forward in the window, even though the money has been made available to him amid rumours of a move for Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca:
Wenger pulled a face when asked about Bacca, they didn't meet Remy clause, I fear #afc won't sign a striker. The money is available to him.— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) September 1, 2014
Although Wenger insists his squad can cope without the injured Olivier Giroud, there has been little indication of them doing that in their two Premier League away games so far. Anyone watching the game against the Foxes and particularly Yaya Sanogo’s unconvincing display will have been able to see that the club are in desperate need of a top-quality frontman.
Those needs could be increased with reports emerging that Joel Campbell—a player that could potentially be utilised as a makeshift striker—may be on his way to Benfica, per Sami Mokbel of the Mail Online.
Looking to Reus, getting a player of his calibre at this late stage of the window would be a massive show of intent from the Gunners. Here’s the kind of qualities the German international could potentially bring to the Emirates:
If you’re looking for a well-rounded, versatile forward then there are few better in the game than the Dortmund man. He’s got a myriad of wonderful attributes, and there are few sides on the planet that would decline the chance of signing him up.
The 25-year-old has started the season in typically excellent form, too, with German football pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft recently swooning over his silky abilities:
Watching Marco Reus's goal from yesterday. He is the closest you get to Moonwalk on the pitch... @woodyinho— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) August 30, 2014
But is he really the kind of player the Gunners need?
Yes, Reus is capable of playing at the point of the attack, but he’s shone brightest for Dortmund when played from the left-hand side or just off the striker. When he’s pushed forward, he loses that remarkable ability to make blistering runs from deep and shoot from distance—two of Reus’ finest qualities.
Should Arsenal spend £40 million on Reus?
At this juncture, Arsenal don’t need another player to play off a forward. They need an orthodox striker. They need someone stylistically comparable to Giroud who can bring their intricate midfield players into the game and provide a much more physical dimension to their forward play. They need someone who'll play between the goal posts and stick chances away.
Reus could potentially come into the side and occupy a spot on the left-hand side of the triumvirate of players behind the striker, giving Arsenal a formidable attacking midfield trio of him, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. But for an outlay of £40 million, the club should be looking first at bringing in a target man and secondly a holding midfielder.
With Dortmund unlikely to sell at this late stage anyway, if Wenger is privy to pursuing Reus, then why not do it next summer? And why not make Arsenal as attractive a proposition as possible by signing the requisite players to facilitate a title charge? Maybe then a move for Reus can be a much more plausible proposition for the Gunners.