Arsenal failed in a last minute offer for the Liverpool play-maker, Xabi Alonso, yet they could have afforded to splash the two million more for the quality they were to get. I think he was the best replacement we could have had and these are the reasons why:
1. Experience: Xabi is 26 years old and has bags of premiership and international experience. Just what we needed most!
2. Central midfielder: He has a cool head and can calm things down in middle of the park. A good tackler and far more dangerous in going forward and long range shots.
3. Fabulous partner for the Fab: Fabregas openly showed his desire to play along-side Alonso and it would have been a mouth-watering partnership. Xabi is like a Defensive Fabregas and more of a distributor. Our midfield would have flowed like a river with his sublime passes and link-up play. Beautiful!
4. Replacement for Fabregas: When Fabregas is injured, he is the best replacement there is. It is natural!
5. Set piece capability: Arsenal's set piece potential is predictive and not so amazing as the beautiful game they play. He would have added another welcome addition.
6. No worries for Europe: I assume Arsenal would have made it in the initial stages of Champions League without him and then he would have been saved for dangerous final parts after January transfer window. Remember he won the cup!
7. Depth: With Rosicky hopefully back from injury, we would have more depth in true sense.
8. The beautiful game: He would fit naturally in Arsenal's free-flowing one touch system and added to the beauty we all admire so much.
9. Trophies: His addition would surely boost Arsenal's chances in EPL as well as Europe.
10. Want-away: The whole Barry saga degraded his worth at Liverpool. It was an opportunity for Arsenal to take advantage of and for Xabi to prove his real worth when he is used rightly.
So why did Wenger fail to pursue him till the very end while waiting for the last moment was clearly not a good idea. I hope Wenger knows this time too and its not just the 16m price-tag that kept him away. I really hope so.