So the official countdown has begun to the end of the transfer window with 4 days, 7 hours, 57 minutes and 7 seconds left as I write this. Last year our last minute business was prompted by the heavy defeat at Old Trafford but I presume that it won't be the same this year. Things seem calmer and more steady with regards to our squad and we only need a few quality players to challenge this year. I would say at least 3 players are needed realistically and if I was to be critical I would be thinking 4.
Lets start at the back, where things have been really good so far this season. Jenkinson has performed and although he is not the best technically or tactically, he gives 100% at all times. However, I would still like to see a versatile CB come in, one that can is comfortable at RB. It looks as if we are going for one in the form of Yanga M'biwa of Montpellier. He is their captain at only 22 years of age and has only 1 year remaining on his contract. Louis Nicollin said at the beginning of the summer that they would only consider selling Giroud and M'biwa, the former because he had a relatively low release clause and the latter because they had made a personal agreement that if a big club came in, they would sell. The ever reliable @AFCAMDEN informed us that we have 'serious interest'.
The next position in need of filling is defensive midfield. There is and has been widespread calls for a proper holding player and Wenger has already stated that he wants a 'top, top completely defensive midfielder'. Earlier in the summer we had agreed a deal with Rennes for Yann M'Vila and everything was set to be completed - remember the 99% done stories? They weren't far off the truth - before Rennes decided to wait until after the Euro's where they presumed M'Vila would shine which would mean more competition for his signature and inevitably an increase in price. Obviously with M'Vila being injured for half the tournament combined with France's poor showing, it completely backfired and we haven't returned to the table since. Whether Wenger has been biding his time and waiting for Rennes to become desperate or if he has simply lost interest, only he knows.
We have been linked with just about every decent defensive midfielder in the world, from Biglia to Wanyama to De Jong but none of the moves have materialized. I have a soft spot for Etienne Capoue of Toulouse. He has made the Ligue 1 team of the season for the past 2 years - ahead of M'Vila - and is still young at only 23 years of age. I think he would be an excellent signing and I have a suspicion Wenger likes him too.
The last position I feel is in need of re-enforcement is the striking department. With Chamakh, Bendtner and Park all close to being sold/loaned, that leaves us with only Giroud and Podolski. While I love both players and feel they will be successful, we need a striker willing to run behind, always on the defender's shoulder. I know Wenger hates those types of strikers but I feel it is necessary. Huntelaar is available for only 17mil (release clause) - a pretty low price for a striker who scored 37 goals in 56 appearances. With a fast powerful player like Podolski and a big target man in Giroud, I feel a poacher, fox in the box type, would compliment them well. Other options include Loic Remy of Marseille who Wenger compared to Henry last year and Fernando Llorente who's move to Juventus has gone awfully quiet.
If I was being greedy I would also be in the market for a creative winger. Walcott and Gervinho are too similar. Both fast, direct and have no end product. I would love a player who thinks about what his next move will be and who has the vision and awareness to know when to run in behind and when to drop off and play to feet. Jesus Navas and Ibrahim Afellay have so far been linked this summer.
That's it for today.
Busy week ahead - hopefully.