Into the Looking Glass Part III: too much smoke means a striker will be bought.

It’s the end of the year, so lets end with the most fun part of the saga.  The forwards.  With the transfer window just hours away the excitement is growing.  But as always this is Arsene’s world and we’re just living in it.  And to be fair, the Monsieur seems to really be blowing smoke these days.  So none of us have a real clue what’s going on.  This just means he’s gonna buy someone.

Unlike the midfield, injuries to the forward line have been totally decimating.  Arsene keeps trying to put Arshavin and Eduardo upfront, and while the team is scoring, the offense is struggling to run on full cylinders.  But none of us saw the hole the Bendtner injury would create.  From the man everybody wanted to sell to the man we all miss, Bendtner’s injury has surprisingly rocked the team’s ofense.  So any purchase will be based on Arsene’s perception of Bendtner’s recuperation.  Because of regular injuries to Eduardo, Walcott and Rosicky, and Vela’s inconsistent play, Arsene does seem to recognize a need for another striker at least to provide some rotation with Bendtner.  In fact, Bendtner’s injury has compounded the RVP injury beyond imagination.  After Song, Bendtner was arguably the most improved player.  His work rate had increased and his size and ability to bang inside were apparent.

So who’s up for grabs?  Although no one can predict what Arsene will do, I fully expect Arsene to purchase Gignac.  The Toulouse man is 24, is a member of the FFF, all while playing for an underperforming Ligue 1 team.  He’s also married with children (i.e. stable) and a proven leader.  And finally, to top it all off, Gignac would WANT to join the Arsenal.  Pundits and fans often miss that Arsene wants players that want to be Arsenal players.  He demands total commitment.  Gignac isn’t agitating for a move to Madrid or Barca.  He knows the Arsenal is special and would happily join the crusade.  Gignac is a proven scorer, plays with great technique.  He’s used to drawing markers and creating space, so he’d fit right in with Arsene play.  Not to mention his name would look good on one of our shirts.  Whether he’s the right player raises more questions.

One issue, is that Andre’s a like for like replacement for RVP, but it doesn’t look as if we need to replace RVP right now.  Maybe for next year, but for this season, Arsene might look for a pure target man like he sought last summer in Chamakh.  A pure target man means tall, physical and strong.  But if we do pick up Gignac, look for him to take RVP’s role more next season.

Going back to the target man, Chamakh isn’t coming and neither is Dzeko or Balotelli.  And, a Carlton Cole purchase isn’t likely unless it’s a complete and absolute steal. Moving to the Arsenal would be the high point of Cole’s career, bar none.  It’s an opportunity he wouldn’t pass up.  And he would provide the physical presence we desperately need.  The question is, whether he would actually play well.  He’s not as technically gifted as Arsene demands.  And, at 26, he’s not likely to improve in that area much.  So he adds a battering ram, but not much else.  But he’s used to the EPL and has the hunger.  That might be enough.  He also might be a bargain at £7m since he’s not cup tied.  And who knows, surround him with our talent and he might really explode on the scene.  Also, since Arsene hasn’t spoken much about him these days, he might be the one.

In the end, of course, it’s all up to Arsene.  But he’s blowing more smoke than ever these days, so expect something to happen.  Rumors range from Dzeko to Saha.  And the Monsiur seems to like it that way when a purchase is coming down the pipeline.  So whomever it is, expect it cause a stir, because it’ll be big no matter what: either a star no one expected or some player from the Faroe Islands that has all of us on YouTube trying to learn anything about them.

Have a happy new year!

– the student


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