After suffering yet another injury blow, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has revealed that he will step up his attempts to bolster his squad in the January transfer window. The injury problems that have beset Arsenal throughout the first half of the season were just showing signs of clearing up, before Mathieu Debuchy and Mikel Arteta were both ruled out for the next three months.
It has been confirmed that French defender Debuchy will undergo surgery on a dislocated shoulder suffered against Stoke City on Sunday, while Arteta, already out since November, will now also go under the knife to correct an ankle problem. Already looking vulnerable defensively and in the center of their midfield, Wenger has confirmed that the latest news means there will be an increase in the intensity of his transfer hunt.
“Yes we are more [in the market now],” he told Arsenal’s official website. “We have Chambers and we have Bellerin, who is coming on well, and I want to give them a chance as well, but of course we are in the market like many other clubs. We work really hard morning until late night to try to get one or two players in.”
After allowing Lukas Podolski and Yaya Sanogo to go on loan, Arsenal are on the verge of welcoming their first arrival of the January window. Krystian Bielik, a 17-year-old midfielder, will undergo a medical with Arsenal in the coming days, according to his club Legia Warsaw. Arsenal have reportedly been in negotiations with the Polish club for several days, with a deal of around 3 million euros (£2.4 million) widely suggested. In an announcement on Legia’s website, Bielik revealed he is eagerly awaiting the completion of the transfer.
“I'm going to London to fulfill my dreams,” he said. “I hope I will become an Arsenal player soon.”
Bielik has made six senior appearances for Legia, but is unlikely to be seen as an immediate contributor to the Arsenal first team. Thus, it is probable that Wenger also has his eyes on more experienced targets who can provide immediate assistance to Arsenal’s quest to climb into the Premier League’s top four. Indeed, there have been rumors on Thursday that the Gunners may get what they need in the shape of another Polish midfielder.
With La Liga side Sevilla closing in on a deal for veteran midfielder Lucho Gonzalez, speculation swirled that it could open the door for Arsenal to sign reported target Grzegorz Krychowiak. Yet, given that it appears likely that Gonzalez has been targeted with Sevilla midfielder Stephane Mbia’s trip to the African Cup of Nations in mind, that suggestion already looked somewhat far-fetched. And that impression is furthered by comments from Krychowiak’s agent.
“Grzegorz going to Arsenal? No way, he's happy in Seville,” Cesary Kucharski told Italian website Tuttomercatoweb, per the Daily Star. “He feels perfectly fine with club, teammates and the city "I can't see why he should leave, he's still on a deal with Rojiblancos until June 2018.”
Debuchy’s injury is sure to increase Wenger’s desire to reinforce what was already a wafer-thin backline. And it could mean that efforts ae increased to try and lure reported target Winston Reid to the Emirates in this month’s transfer window. The New Zealand international center-back will be out of contract at West Ham in the summer, with manager Sam Allardyce resigned to losing him at the season’s end. But Allardyce has also been adamant that Reid won’t leave before then.
According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal have been rebuked in their attempts to sign him on a cut-price £3 million January deal, with West Ham seeking £7 million to bring forward his departure. But the Mirror also reports that Tottenham are making moves to try and arrange a lucrative contract for the 26-year-old to join on a free transfer in the close season.