It would be fair to say that Arsenal fans are considerably more ‘glass half full’ than they were at the start of this winter transfer window, but they will still be looking to the club to add quality to the squad from the stronger position in which they now find themselves. Of course, having kept five clean sheets and started scoring more freely, they may not be looking to reinforce where we might have expected a few months ago.
I am confident Arteta and Edu will be doing some wheeling and dealing between now and the 1st if February and those listening the rumours may wish to speculate on who the new player of players might be and sign up for offers on your-bonus-code.com. However, despite Ozil seemingly departing the search for a long-term creator, has been slightly complicated due to one man. That man is Emile Smith-Rowe, whose assists and goals in January have earned him the affection nickname of ‘The Croydon De Bruyne’. His injection of energy, pace and vision have earned him more than a nickname though as the news is emerging that Emile will be rewarded with a new long-term deal, suggested to come with a £25,000 a week pay rise.
The question then will be whether Arteta, feels in Smith-Rowe he has enough central creativity or whether he still wishes to bring in Emi Buendia from Norwich, who sees to be the most likely candidate to share the load with the youngster. Or will he risk keeping his powder dry until the summer and sticking with the Hale End product and using Willian as his experienced cover. The latter option for a club not awash with ready cash will be tempting having made such a long-term commitment, in wages to the experienced Brazilian. Logic would suggest that Willian will come good at some point as he has not become a poor player since last season, but the Norfolk based Argentinian is setting the Championship ablaze.
It is a squad game, Smith-Rowe is still young and both he and for that matter, his amazing partner in creativity, Bukayo Saka, will need to be rotated to be rested and Buendia can play either role. For that reason, and because we know Smith-Rowe has a poor injury record, I feel the move for the Norwich playmaker makes sense. Whether it makes £40 million of sense though, is for the club to ponder and today’s news suggests the club might wait until the summer.
One leftfield alternative is a loan move to the end of the season. Arsenal have shown they are willing to utilise the loan system in recent times. The loan that I understand that has been talked about involves another Brazilian player, looked after by a certain Kia Joorabchain, so may not be popular with the Arsenal fans. A certain Oscar, ex of the Chelsea parish, currently in Shanghai, has reportedly been offered to Edu, until the end of this campaign. Most supporters having witnessed Willian failed to spark at best, or look disinterested, at worst, will be unlikely to welcome this idea.
Either way let’s get Smith-Rowe tied down on a long contract to join, Saka, Martinelli, Tierney and Gabriel and look forward with this brilliant young core.
Passionate fifty-something Arsenal supporter who has been making the journey to N5 regularly since the early 1980s – although his first game was in 1976. Always passionate when talking about The Arsenal, Dave decided to send a guest blog to Gunnersphere in the summer of 2011 and has not stopped writing about the Gunners since.
He set up his own site – 1 Nil Down 2 One Up – in February 2012, which he moved on in 2016 to concentrate on freelance writing and building Gunners Town, which he launched with Paul in 2014.
The objective of GT was to be new and fresh and to give a platform for likeminded passionate Arsenal fans wishing to write about their team. Dave still of course, writes for the site himself and advises the ever-changing writing crew.