Arsène Wenger has cooled speculation that he will venture back into the transfer market for a striker, despite facing up to being without Olivier Giroud for the rest of the year. Arsenal’s worst fears were confirmed on Wednesday when it was revealed that Giroud had fractured his fibia against Everton at the weekend and will miss between three and four months. In typical Wenger fashion, though, he suggested that the answer did not lie in spending more money.
“You will ask me straight away who we will buy? At the moment, no one,” he said, reports The Guardian. “We will look around but we want quality, and we have quality: we have [Yaya] Sanogo, [Lukas] Podolski, [Joel] Campbell, Theo Walcott is coming back soon, and to find players better than we have will be very difficult now.
“Look, if you want to make anybody happy just buy all these players. But what is important is the performance on the pitch, and the solidarity we have shown tonight. Having said that, if you look at the players on the bench and those injured, we have players you know. You cannot just buy when the player is injured. We are open for any position as long as we feel the player can strengthen the squad. But to buy? I don’t see the purpose of that. If we feel we have a player who can give something to our squad, we’ll do it in any position. We’re open.”
Those comments may be more about Wenger trying to dampen expectations for him to spend, rather than ruling it out. Yet, his record means it is unlikely he will dip into the market. Alexis Sánchez scored the decisive goal in the Champions League playoff against Beşiktaş and Wenger insisted afterward that the summer signing from Barcelona could excel as a central striker. It is a role that he has proven himself in previously, but he clearly brings very different qualities than Giroud and ones that it will take the Arsenal team some adjusting to.
If Wenger does seek extra numbers up front, it could quite possibly be via a loan move. However, it is unlikely to be through a loan deal that costs Arsenal £20 million. Nevertheless, outlandish speculation in recent days, latterly from The Independent, has suggested that Arsenal could pay that mammoth fee to take the Colombian striker from Monaco for a season. Not only would that kind of expensive short-term move be entirely not in keeping with Wenger’s track record, but if Falcao goes anywhere before the close of the transfer window next Monday it is likely to be to Real Madrid.
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When asked about whether Falcao was in his price range, Wenger replied with a simple “No,” the same response he gave to whether he would sign Danny Welbeck. The Manchester United forward has also been suggested as an Arsenal target this week after his manager Louis van Gaal failed to deny rumors that the England international was surplus to requirements at Old Trafford. A transfer to Arsenal was always likely to prove problematic, though, given the rivalry between the teams.
A new forward target has also been suggested. According to Italian publication Calcio Mercato, Arsenal made an inquiry for Roma striker Mattia Destro on Tuesday. The Italy international has been strongly linked with Chelsea in recent days as a replacement for the seemingly Milan-bound Fernando Torres. While Destro impressed with 13 goals in Serie A last season, his reported £20 million price tag will surely deter Wenger.