The one player Arsenal still need

With thanks to for picture.

With thanks to for picture.

Krystian Bielik has been confirmed as our latest signing and a big welcome to the home of football for him. With only a handful of senior appearances in the Polish league for Legia Warsaw and at just 17 years old, we can safely say this is one for the future.

It remains to be seen whether Arsene will add anybody else before the TW shuts. Of course lots of names are being prostituted on the horny-for-hits sites, but as we know from many previous TWs, 99% is made up and will never materialise.

I am convinced Wenger is looking, but only for a particular position which appears to be CB. There is also a small chance that a great player becomes available for a (relatively) bargain price: somebody that is nearing the end of their contract and who ‘desperately’ wants to play at the best club in the world. Rest assured that Arsene and his negotiators will be looking towards the last day of the TW to strike such a deal. That is when the pressure is really on and clubs who, for whatever reason, have to sell can be pinned down.


We know that Wenger is prone to changing his mind regularly on what and who he needs, and it is fair to say there is plenty happening within the squad currently to justify some caution:

  1. The squad is getting stronger with the returns to full fitness of Ozil, Theo, Ramsey, and Jack back in training now.
  2. A number of youngsters have been taking the bull by the horns and are fighting for more first team starts (Chambers, Bellerin, Coquelin);
  3. A number of senior, wider squad players have been putting in fine, first class performances (Rosicky, Monreal, Santi, Ospina);
  4. There is currently a great team spirit and things are coming together, with a number of strong performances in the bag. This momentum needs to be harnessed and further build upon.

It is of course always nice to spend money on new things, but Wenger will want to make sure that whoever he adds to the team will make us stronger straightaway and fills an actual hole in the squad.

So, taken the above into account, and assuming that Wenger might buy one quality, senior player this TW, I have a few questions for you for discussion:

  1. On a scale of 1-10 how likely is it that Wenger will buy a (super) quality player this time round?
  2. For which position(s) will he buy?
  3. For which position do you want him to buy now and why?
  4. Who is the one player you feel we need to buy before 1st Feb and why?

Over to you FFGs! 🙂

 By TotalArsenal.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to The one player Arsenal still need

  1. brown says:

    Newcastle’s Sissoko!



  3. davydavy says:

    Hi TA

    I think you have it absolutely right. The position we will probably buy in will at CB, and I would agree that this is where we are light. I think that the big difference from the last transfer window is just how well our young players have stepped up, in particular Coquelin and Bellerin. With those two looking so good, the only position where we don’t have two quality players for each first eleven spot is at CB.

    Lots of talk about Paulista joining us – it sounds like he’s an aggressive kind of player and good in set pieces, and that could be just the thing for our defence. I’d prefer someone like him to a ‘Galactico’ signing like Hummels.

    Our current squad balance looks really good at the moment and the extra defender will be ideal. However at the end of this season we will probably be saying farewell to Arteta, Flamini and Diaby, so I wonder if Jack and Aaron will be partnering Le Coq in central midfield for the rest of the season (like against City) so that AW knows whether or not he will need to bring in another midfielder for next season?

  4. tony says:

    hi TA,
    1:on ascale of 1-10 i,d give arsene a 5
    Coz he can suprise us with another kallstrom
    2 he will buy a defender
    3 he should definately buy a defender because you never know when koscielnys achille will strike next so we better bè covered
    4 instead of buying i,d swap jenko and Reid because that guy has the experience needed in the premier 26years i think he is peaking and what better place to peak than at the home of football.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi DavyDavy 🙂

    You should comment more often. That is a very sensible comment and all agreed.

  6. geoffchase says:



    1. A 5 on availability as it’s the average of 10, should a Schneiderlin or Carvalho, truly be available, at most any reasonable price, versus a 0, if they are not… Ie it ain’t in his hands as to whether he buys SQ or merely TQ (top quality) but that other teams, players etc play a big role

    2. I think defender to relieve Koz and Merts, while Chambers grows into it, OR, a DM. Again, all down to real, actual availability. I don’t put anything into the Cavani talk

    3. Same as 2, but reverse order if I’m allowed to choose.

    4. Schneiderlin, big EPL experience and the DM type to push Coquelin or exceed him (to start with). I like DM over CB as I think Chambers can help already, and thus it’s more key to us as Koz is quite tough and should, very hopefully, hold up well enough…

    However, I don’t think we’d get Schneiderlin, much as I’d like him, as Soton are likely eying CL too, so they may hold, risk the free and hope to sell him on staying at the end of the year… Big gamble, for them, as I think Soton aren’t deep enuff and will fade in the late going, whereas our depth (and Alexis) have saved us so far and will let us now recover and excel (or so goes the plan in my head!) 🙂

    4b. I could see a Sissoko stop gap or similar tho, hopefully no a swede named Kim 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Tony, yep that makes sense to me too. 🙂

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Those would be my answers Geoff. 🙂

    We also have Monreal who seems third choice CB and needs playing regularly, especially if Gibbsy gets played a lot.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Dutch media are reporting that Ryo Myachi is on his way back from his loan spell at Utrecht. Not been a success. Wenger made some spade on the left, so will we see him there once or twice this season?

  10. geoffchase says:

    JBs sauces!

    What’s the news on ones flavors?

    — jgc

  11. Gerry says:

    I’m betting my comment will not get the same approval TA 😀
    But here goes anyway …

    Geoff is right, it is not absolutely in our hands to buy. Partly because we try to manage our budget. Or at least AW does. That said there’s does seem to be a bit more of high end activity in the air than other January windows? I think this is down to the the difference between winning and losing has such a big financial bearing, so those clubs who fear they will fall short want to buy. I don’t just mean at the top end, where winning the various Leagues, and CL, or CL places, but equally those in lower leagues, and those fighting to avoid missing out of their current status. That tends to make the prices rise. That in turn encourages sides to sell their better players if they have a financial need to do so. Not only that, for every player moving into a club, probably means another making for the exit? That then gives clubs selling their best players an opportunity to replace, with a small profit in between, and only a slight drop in capability if they are lucky. All this, with the backdrop of full implementation of the FFP at the end of this season.
    Hence the greater activity, so far only in headlines, but that might change very quickly.

    I believe AW is working on two directives. One the short-term need, and the longer term additions. Krystian Bielik is clearly in the latter camp, but even so we may get glimpses of him if we have an extended Cup run.
    Interesting information coming to light regards the Paulista links. It seems that there are proposals afoot to allow any payer costing £10m or more an automatic work permit. That does explain the continued interest I think, as AW would not contemplate a much needed short term target to hang in the balance while at a whim of the Home Office that decides his fate? Also, why there may be another CB may be purchased as insurance.

    Youngsters who are looking at their prospects at their current club will always be of interest if they have shown exceptional talent. But that usually mean we will not be alone in our interest, and therefore not always successful. However, there are a lot of ‘links’ to a number of 22+ year olds, who would cover both now, and the longer term if their quality is that good. So it looks to me like AW is starting a process of overhauling the squad, and in particular, towards the South Americans who might match Alexis’s appetite for the game. Given the proposed rule change comes into effect, that opens the door to a parts of the world where we have not been that successful before?

    Q. 1 – The separation of the ‘Will’ and ‘Desire’ to buy quality players are really what we cannot know, only guess at which will come out stronger. Therefore I think the need, because shortage which has already cost us, may just win out this time
    So an 8 that it will happen, over the 10 of his desire.

    Q. 2 – CB twice, DM secured for the summer, AM, left side.

    Q. 2 – Dyabala. Why? He is excellent cover for Alexis. Brilliant alongside Alexis. Plays left side of Alexis. Cheaper than Alexis (or Cavani). Fits our super fit model, Alexis, to a tee.
    I’m not that keen you understand?

    Q. 4 – We wouldn’t get the player or players I would like as neither club are likely to sell to us. We need a CB, I think short term that will be Winston Reid, with Paulista bought, but loaned back until work permit issues are sorted. The alternative would be V v D?
    However, the DM issue has not gone away because of Coquelin. At least not if we are aiming high. It is not Coquelin that is the weakness, I must stress, it is who covers for him if he gets injured, or when suspended. Then we have the same problem we had before he arrived?
    Schneiderman rumours are interesting. One, we have not been linked with any others recently? The supposed ‘agreement’ of £25m would not make sense for a player out of contract in the summer. It would take that sum to buy him now. If Southampton suddenly get linked to a ‘close’ deal for a DM, then an announcement might be made?
    Alternatively, we are looking elsewhere ..

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Well done for sticking to your guns, Gerry, and if your response to question two comes good, I wlll hail you as the absolute TW expert of BK. If not…. Hahahaha 🙂

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    ‘However, there are a lot of ‘links’ to a number of 22+ year olds, who would cover both now, and the longer term if their quality is that good. So it looks to me like AW is starting a process of overhauling the squad, and in particular, towards the South Americans who might match Alexis’s appetite for the game. Given the proposed rule change comes into effect, that opens the door to a parts of the world where we have not been that successful before?’

    Interesting, left-field point of view, Gerry. I don’t believe in a big overhaul coming up but a normal, gradual replacing of the older players, with one or two leaving in the summer (and youngsters who are not making the grade). You do give those spurious links a lot of attention though, and you are not the only one, judging from the number of hits they generate.

    More South Americans is of course possible but there is little evidence that Wenger is shifting markets as such. That does not mean you could not be right on this.

  14. steve says:

    Great little teaser post TA, nicely done 🙂
    Excellent comments Geoff and Gerry, heres my quick answers;

    Q.1 – 0, there is no chance he will buy a super quality player in this TW, not with so many, in some crazy twist off fate, being available for free in the summer. January will be about stop gaps or younger players with potential.

    Q.2 – DM. LCB, RCB

    Q.3 – DM. LCB, RCB + left sided AM

    Q.4 – With the recent upturn in defensive performance from the Kos, BFG and Coq triangle whoever we buy must be prepared to take a sub position at first as AW will not want to disrupt the team, so either an aging player stop gap or younger potential. This player ideally would be competent in both CB positions like Kos so that he would be available for cover if either get injured or fatigued. As a bonus it would be a plus if he had experience and ability in the DM role also in case Coq’s bubble bursts.
    Only one man ticks all those boxes, Van Dijk – 6ft 4″, Kompany type athleticism and speed, right footed but plays in the left CB position just like koscielny and so can cover both CB positions. Has experience in the DM role and has great passing ability. Only 23 so and untested in the EPL so he will not be overly pissed off at providing a sub spot to begin with.
    Thats my pick, all three positions covered in one player and no upheaval to the team with his arrival. Then wait for the big names in the summer.

  15. St. Henry says:

    Nice one TA 🙂 I would be surprised if we bought a super quality player in this TW simply because I don’t think any are available. Schneiderlin / Cavani etc. (even if one considers them seriously for a moment) I don’t think will be let go on this go around by their clubs. Khedeira was the only one that seemed a possibility, but things have gone real quiet there.
    Given the number of occasions he has mentioned it, I think that Wenger is focused on finding a CB. The Paulista angle I find puzzling though. There is a real good chance that he will not get the work permit (the 10 million pound clause comes into effect only in June and so does not apply). So I wonder who the backup option is if the Paulista transfer does not work out.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent Steve, you might have well put the finger on the Dijk. 🙂

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    St Henry, I can guarantee you that Paul is not TA 😆

    Good arguments there and you might be right that Paulista might be a Gunner’s smokescreen! 🙂

  18. The Cockie Monster says:

    Nice one Totes !.

    1) What Degrees C or F does it take for Hell to freeze over ?… will be minus that for a SQ player !.

    2) CB……if he can get a permit for Paulista !…..he (Wenger) has admitted that he is in negotiations for him !.

    3) GK, CB and DM……reasons ?……I think the world, every man ( especially ex-Arsenal players inc` King Henry ) and his dogging session have said it !.

    4) Mmmmmmourinho !…..did you say a player ? hahaha…..In defence of Wenger the three positions I have given in 3), are probably the hardest to find SQ players in !……if it was a forward then the list is long and easy, but he wont spend a penny above his own valuations , so no Messi or Ronaldo !…….not even a Suarez or a Reus or a Cavani etc` etc` etc`.

    Hopefully, Le Coq will prove what me and Oz thought might be the player to solve our DM spot !. I now refer to him as……Le Coq Bloque !….or for those who are not as fluent in the French accent art !……The Cock Block !. Le Coq Bloques Tackle in front of the back four is hopefully working !.

    Hope you are on the mend Stev11e and that the extra fingers transplants went well !… step, a trial with Arsenal and then on to taking Szczesny`s place and shutting Oh Oh 7even up !. 😆

    This is true !……….Last night my wife ( who is a great animal lover and wont watch a programme if an animal is in distress or being hurt etc`) and I were watching a programme and there was a Budgie on it and the missus remarks…….” Remember when I worked for Wally for Wireless !….well there was a girl called Carol who had a Budgie and she loved and cared for it like her own baby !…….. One day the door was open and a cat crept in and grabbed her Budgie and ran off with it in it`s mouth and the Budgie started screaming …Mummy…mummy ! “.
    Well bastards !, I pissed myself laughing and the missus say`s in temper !….” It`s not Funny !, she loved that Budgie !….how would you like it if someone ran off with Max ( our dog ) ! “.
    Fuck me !……this happened nearly fucking 40 years ago !. hahahahaha

  19. Gerry says:

    St Henry – I don’t think AW ever focuses on one thing. They have a team of people all talking to agents and clubs. However, I do think two things do annoy Arsene in any transfer dealing is if his enquiries are made public when when the negotiations are at a vital stage. Particularly if it is to drive the price up in a bidding war. And players blabbing abut contact.

    I think players are available, it is just at what price. Southampton are gambling with Schneiderlin that, a – they finish high enough to be in European competition next season; -b, that MS will sign a new contract with them, or any contract that they will get something for him, or else he leaves on a ‘free’ in the summer. If not, £25m now makes a lot of sense, if they can find a suitable replacement. Probably for less, but better than Wanayama.

    PSG have more or less gone public with saying they will sell, especially if they have got their eye on somebody else. Pogba perhaps?
    Chelsea ditto for Cuadrado, and/or Pogba.
    Juve may cash in on Pogba, given the chicken feed, relatively, that they paid for him.
    Cavani is the most likely last minute deal, if they stick out for £50m.
    AW would be tempted at £35m though?

    On the Paulista deal. AW will not want to pay too much if there is a doubt about the work permit, which there must be to come now, and is probably holding back other interest here. I have already suggested that Reid is the obvious candidate to be an active 3rd choice for the remains of this season, while they wait for Paulista to arrive. Alternatively, Steve’s option, the ‘Mary Poppin’s’ guy..

    I note yet another 22 year old is mentioned today. I don’t know how much of the next window’s budget can be brought forward should say, Pogba be up for grabs at £45m, when there is a lot of spending at the lower end of the scale, but each and every one will add to the wage bill. But with departures on high wages should offset that to some extent.. As will retaining the FA Cup and getting through the next couple of rounds of the Cl, and winning that even sweeter? Which is why we will be investing in players over the next 3 windows, im (lone?) o.

    Exciting times ahead methinks.

  20. steve says:

    hahaha TA can you do me a favor and change my blog icon or pic or whatever it is called to the one Cockie just posted please 🙂

    Cheers for that Cocker! 🙂

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Cockie Spaniel, you is in fine form today, and I love the picture for our very own f11ngers. 🙂

    Le Coq Bloque is also very good. Do we need another GK? Let’s give Osssssssssspina half a season to proof himself for the nr.1 spot, no?

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    I have no such power, Steve. You need to download the picture and then get yourself a gravatar that links to your email address.

  23. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hamez Bondage, Szczesny`s new goal keeping coach !. Gives Wojciech some pointers on what he needs to do to get his place back in the 1st team !.

  24. steve says:

    a gravatar, who makes up these ridiculous names and processes, i remember the good old days when you just had to click “change profile pic” or some such command button and just upload a file, now we have to link everything with everything and signup to more and more.
    I’ll pass for now thanks anyway TA
    great pic though Cocker!

  25. geoffchase says:


    Those old days were less than 10 years ago! What do you call really old? 20 years? 😀

  26. St. Henry says:

    Ha! very funny – Paul is not TA! 🙂

    Gerry – I agree about Wenger’s obsession with secrecy during negotiations. This window, it was a bit of a surprise to first hear from Bielik and then from Villareal & Paulista. Part of my thinking that the real deal might be cooking elsewhere.

    Reg. Cavani and Pogba – is there some reason why PSG & Juve will not wait until summer? Wouldn’t that allow them to make sure that replacements are in place before letting them go? And, while I agree that player-team comments are not to be trusted, both S’ton and Schneiderlin said “nothing until summer, if at all”. To your point, I think that if any of these three are truly available now, that would be !!!! 🙂

  27. Gerry says:

    Re ‘The why now’ St H, is the FFP. The summer window follows at the end of the season, and books have to balance by the end of the season. Which means this Feb 3.

    On Southampton’s problem. I believe it was their manager that said ‘Not now’?
    Think back to the same situation we had with RVP? Big money verses a big fat ZERO, can change Chairman’s mind, if not the manager’s?

    Man Utd look the most likely to start a scramble. A, – Because their defence is not strong enough to guarantee them a return to the CL.. B, – Their attack is flawed at times.
    Chelsea have gone ‘meglo’ in thinking they can win all 4 trophies, So they too are looking buy, but need to sell.
    Juve could spend the money from one sale and stiffen up other areas of their team. They only just lead La Liga. Roma behind them, also want to strengthen.
    Arsenal want to strengthen, as 4th place is not guaranteed if we get injuries in crucial areas.

    This is what will drive this window into action.

  28. St. Henry says:

    Great points Gerry! Thanks 🙂

  29. retsub1 says:

    T A you have mail

  30. Gerry says:

    Well it seems all quiet on the transfer front. The gossiper’s cannot find anything new to say, which probably means it is the lull before the storm?

    There was one item that mentioned Neto being watched. Mainly because he is out of contract in the summer. So this is little more than people putting 2 and 2 together. Although I do think Woijech is in deep doo doo. The thing about Arsene Wenger is, he gives trust to his players, and that is an emotional investment, so when that trust is broken he feels betryaed.
    It goes very deep. That is why there is no way back. No way back with Cesc. no way back for RVP. I am not totally sure Giroud, for his hotel escapade, is completely safe? So whatever was said in the dressing room, Szczesny almost certainly breached a fundamental in his relationship with Arsene. Time will tell whether he can get it back. He might even find himself on the bench as back up to Martinez tomorrow?

    The other news coming out emphasis on the other side of Wenger’s ‘loyalty’, that shown towards Diaby. Sadly, it is looking like the end of the road for him at Arsenal. Not many managers would have stuck their neck out in support of a player who has played so little over the past few seasons?

    If Diaby can continue playing, perhaps at a less intense league, he may grace the field of play for a while longer. I think he will make a good coach if he can channel his will to overcome in that direction. Who know, it may be at Arsenal?

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, I have used your excellent, thought-provoking comment as a post. Hope that is okay 😳

    New Post New Post. 🙂

  32. Gerry says:

    I’ll give it a go Steve, but note the need for 8 ‘home grown’ players.
    # denotes home grown#
    .My squad for next season is therefore like this:

    * Denotes – We should be so lucky
    ———————————New DM——————————–>15

    ^ Denotes – player/coach^

    ——————–2nd res CB———-New CB—–—————–>6,7

    ** Denotes – He should be so lucky

    That would the new CBs doubling up as full backs, as Monreal has gone off the list. Bielik does not go on to the a-list because of his age. Mings would, even though he could be classed as home grown, we already exceed the 8 allowed. Clearly any of the 3 in DM positions are vulnerable if any addition beyond those listed to the midfield .We could also lose Cazorla if anther attacking mid, beyond the listed.. Likewise strikers, we lose Welbeck, with Sanogo already on loan/sold. Gnabry will also have to show something this term to retain his spot. No room for Silva, or any other names I deleted from your expansive list.. Only youngsters with great promise will get in the B list.

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