Three reasons Arsene might surprise us this January.

As much as I try to live my life day to day, I can’t help but get excited about this January.  Just 72 hours from the January transfer market and even an Arsenal fan has to get excited.  Everything is coming together for the perfect storm: a crazy exciting January.  Even Arsene seems to have begun teasing the fans and the media.  But seriously, three factors are shaping up to make this January really interesting.

Arsene has a variety of positions to shop for: Striker, Midfielders, CBs.  And while none of us know exactly what Arsene’s up to, confidence is growing that at minimum a striker is coming.  But this transfer window has more potential than that.

One.  Arsene’s summer was unfulfilled.  Contrary to the “Arsene doesn’t spend money complaint,” people forget that last summer Arsene made several plays in the transfer market.  There were at least four confirmed attempted signings: Chamakh, Melo, Sakho and Matuidi.  In fact, if Arsene had been successful, he would have spent around £41m (Chamakh apprx: 7), (Melo apprx: 17), (Sakho apprx: 12) (Matuidi apprx: 5).

Arsene wasn’t able to buy those players because the valuations were considered too low, or in the case of Melo he was out bid.  But the point is, Arsene is willing to spend and would have completely remade the team if he’d been successful.

Now, who he’ll buy is up in the air a bit.  Melo is out for sure.  Chamakh presents an interesting case.  His team is doing well, but RVP is out for the season.  If RVP were healthy, I’d expect Chamakh next summer on a free transfer.  But with RVP out and our need for a striker strong, it’s looking like Gignac might get the call instead, which means Chamakh isn’t coming.

A Matuidi purchase is increasing in likelihood with the injuries to Denilson and maybe Fab.  In fact, he seems like an ideal replacement.  If Fab needs a break he can run the midfield.  If Denilson needs a break, he can take over his role.  And while he’s no Song, he can even provide cover there occasionally if need be.  That £5-8m seems as good as out the door.

A Sakho purchase would be a big shock but potentially makes a lot of sense.  If Senderos really leaves and Arsene is really worried about re-signing Gallas and/or Silvestre, Sakho or some other player like that Subotic kid might work.

Regardless, Arsene has a chance to finish the plan he put in place last summer.

Two.  Arsenal are knee deep in three competitions.  Both Arsene and Fergie have noted that the key to the EPL this year is consistency.  While I don’t think some of the rising challengers (Villa, Tot, Manc or now even Liverpool) will win the EPL, they will determine who will win.  Throw in the Champs League and the FA Cup and Arsene is pushing for a lot.  This means he has to have players.  With the injury bug particularly viral these days, this means bringing in new players, young or old.  Which brings us to the third factor.

Three.  Injuries and the African Cup of Nations.  The ACN is taking away our most consistent player all season: Saint Song.  No one doubts the loss of Song, that’s unquestionable and terrifying.  Arsene might throw Diaby back there, but with Denilson still fragile and nobody else on the bench, the loss of Song is an ugly shadow.  But the ACN is also taking away our most versatile player: Eboue.  If people were shocked by the impact to the team by the loss of Bendtner, wait until we lose Eboue.  Losing Eboue means we lose a starting backup defender, an occasionally starting right midfielder and just general happy camper.  Ever notice how everybody on the team loves Eboue?  His loss is important.

Put all three together and we get the perfect storm. Arsene is making a push this year and Fab is leading it on the pitch.  While we might not need a lot of players, Arsene seems ready to pull the trigger on a few here and there to take Arsenal over the hump this year.  So as good Arsenal supporters we can’t let our hopes get too high, but the perfect storm is here.

-the student


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