Arsenal fans everywhere bemoaned Arsene Wenger’s lack of activity in the January transfer window, with the majority wondering why on earth the Frenchman didn’t bring in a striker to help Olivier Giroud and the inexperienced Yaya Sanogo up top.
With Arsenal pushing hard for a first Premier League title in a decade, the Gunners faithful were despondent following the bizarre signing of Kim Kallstrom on deadline day, Wenger’s only purchase of the month.
Now, trusted Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has thrown some light on the situation, claiming in an article for ‘AS’ that the reason why Wenger held off from bringing in a new forward was linked to his pursuit of Real Madrid attacker Alvaro Morata.
Morata’s representatives, reports Balague, have been in contact with Arsenal for the last year, with the player almost signing for the Gunners last month, only for Real boss Carlo Ancelotti and president Florentino Perez to decide not to sell the player in the middle of the season.
Despite this, Morata remained interested in moving to North London, and Wenger believed that a barren second half of the season for the attacker would be enough to see him jump ship in the summer.
Following the emergence of Jesse at Madrid, and Morata’s subsequent exclusion from the starting lineup, it has been widely reported that Wenger has finally got his man.
It seems that Wenger refrained from bringing in further attacking reinforcement in January so as not to deter Morata from arriving in the summer, with the Spaniard after regular first-team football.
This saga may well have dire consequences for the Gunners come the end of the season,
With Arsenal only one point behind Chelsea at the top of the Premier League, there is still a very real chance that this campaign can be a real success. But the lack of strikers up top has put the Gunners fans in a constant state of uneasiness.
Olivier Giroud has remained predominantly fit throughout, despite his heavy work-load, but if he were to fall injured, Wenger would surely put his faith in Sanogo, which continues to fill supporters with trepidation.
Sanogo did not have a bad game by any stretch last week in the Champions League loss to Bayern Munich, but considering the potent strike-forces of the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, Arsenal are worryingly short of options.
Lukas Podolski is available, but has rarely been used as a lone-striker, prompting many to believe that Wenger is loathe to play him there; while Niklas Bendtner is slipping further and further into obscurity.
While Wenger may get Morata in the summer, if Arsenal fall foul of the precarious position the Frenchman has placed them in, the ensuing fallout would be venomous, extensive and potentially crippling.
What do you think of this? Let me know in the comments below…