Arsene Wenger has suggested Arsenal are ready for a spending splurge. However, they don't need it. Wenger's squad only needs tinkering, not full scale surgery during the January transfer window.
Sky Sports has reported that Wenger is targeting two players and is willing to splash the cash to get them. Two signings is the right number, but Wenger shouldn't be forced into a lavish spree, despite the pressure he is under.
What the Gunners need is for the cerebral Frenchman to remind everyone of his knack for finding quality bargains. His critics will point to recent flops, such as Marouane Chamakh, as evidence that Wenger has lost his Midas touch in transfer dealings.
However, this is a churlish criticism, first because Chamakh was a free transfer and represented little risk. Second, because no manger's record is without the blemish of dubious transfer purchases. If he is determined to acquire an infusion of quality during the winter transfer window, Wenger can find it without paying sky high prices.
That may act as a conveniently timed, face saving move to appease disgruntled sections of the club's support. However, it would go against the careful fiscal prudence Wenger has exemplified and also negate his tried and tested policies towards team building.
Unearthing gems used to be Wenger's trademark, but it has become increasingly difficult during the last five to six years. Expanded scouting networks and the proliferation of football reporting, means every club is aware of talents that would previously have ranked as "unknowns."
Wenger can still find the right players, contrary to the sniping of his fiercest critics. After all, it was Wenger who developed Robin van Persie from a temperamental winger into the finest central striker in the game. It was Wenger who refined the rough edges of Alex Song's game, to the point where he not only became an Arsenal hero, but also a target for the mighty Barcelona.
The Gunners boss is beginning to do the same for the likes of Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere. Even older players like Bacary Sagna, have improved under Wenger's tutelage. He was relatively unknown when he arrived from Auxerre in 2007. Now few would argue that when fit, Sagna is one of the best players at his position in the world.
Cheaply priced talents like Yoann Gorucuff, Mohamed Diame, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Diego Milito, prove there are quality bargains to be had this month.
The key to turning around Arsenal's inconsistent season won't be a quick-fix, big bucks signing. It will be first identifying the right combinations from the players already at the club. Then it will be down to Wenger to use his keen eye for undervalued talent and potential, to identify two future Arsenal stars.995360