Despite the transfer window shutting less than a week ago, there is already speculation as to who we will buy in January. With us still having over £40 million sitting in the ‘available monies for transfers’ piggy bank, a key signing or two in January could be a deal breaker if we are in the title race, or still in with a chance of a cup.
Where we are clearly most short at the minute is upfront. Whilst Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Yaya Sanogo can provide cover, they are not sufficient to cover Olivier Giroud on a long term basis, if the big Frenchman picks up an injury. Also if we are starting with Walcott, it leaves Podolski as the only real game changing striker on the bench.
As for Giroud, he is good enough, but he is not star quality. He has shown this season already that he is a very clinical finisher. The fox in the box we were crying out for in the early 2000’s. And his size and work rate causes a problem. However there is always a feeling watching him that he is the man who should be as cover for the star man. He rarely creates out of nothing. And his attributes would be much better put to the last 30 minutes of a game:
1) If we are winning, he would be a good substitute to bring on to become more defensive. He can hold up the ball and chase down centrebacks. His height also gives us extra safety at corners.
2) If we are losing, he would be ideal to come on enabling us to play longer, sending high balls into the box, with others then getting around him. He would cause havoc.
In summary, we are still a star striker short. And in my opinion, that man could be Luis Suarez.
Earlier in the summer, June in fact, I predicted Arsenal would sign Mesut Ozil. This was not being me in the know, it was me using logic. Real Madrid had already signed Isco and with Bale on the way, it was clear that Ozil would be available. Around Europe, not many of the other top teams required (Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG) needed an attacking midfielder, and others (ie Seria A clubs) could afford it. It was logically that he was coming to Arsenal.
Using the same logic, it would not surprise me if we ended up signing Luis Suarez in either January or next summer. Here is my reasoning.
It was clear that a striker was top of our list this summer, and that Luis Suarez was one of the main targets. He had the well documented clause that lead us to bid £40,000,001 for him. The understanding was that Liverpool would let him leave a bid of anything over £40m. Hence the £1. Why bid £45m, when a bid of £40m + £1 triggers the same clause.
However Liverpool challenged the legitimacy of this clause, claiming it was not a release clause, but merely meant they had to inform Luis Suarez of the bid. With all parties disagreeing over what the clause meant, the result would mean that Luis Suarez or Arsenal would have to take Liverpool to Court of Arbitration for Sport. Now this would have been time consuming, with appeals and long drawn out legal proceedings. It is unlikely it would of been completed by the end of the transfer window. This lead Arsenal to drop their interest fairly quickly once Liverpool established their stance and made it clear they would defend their opinion in a court of law.
Our actions after this show, to me, that we are still interested in Luis Suarez. A lack of a bid for any other top striker (bar the rumoured interest in Benzema) showed that perhaps Luis Suarez was still on our radar. Our only interest was in a short term option of a year long loan for Demba Ba. This perhaps shows that there were irons in the fire for longer term options. After all, why go and spend £20-30 million on someone you are not quite sure about, when your main target is still in your sights?
And for me, that target is Luis Suarez.
I would not be surprised if, in the next couple of weeks, it is announced that Luis Suarez is taking Liverpool to court for clarification of the release clause. This action is likely to be supported by Arsenal. Now if he wins, it would mean they would have to sell him for a bid over £40m. Worse case scenario, they might enter mediation and agree a new, higher legitimate clause. Or Liverpool attempt to avoid the embarasment of there star striker taking them to court byt offering Suarez a new deal on more money, with a legally tight release clause in it. Again, this could still lead to him joining Arsenal.
There would still be plenty of ‘what ifs’ over the deal:
- What if after the court case, another side puts in a bid?
- What if Liverpool are still top of the league come January?
- What if Liverpool win the case?
For me, it is logical to say that via our actions after the Suarez deal went dead, and on the last day of the transfer window, we are certainly still in the market for a long term star striker. For me that man will be Luis Suarez.
Keenos (not ITK)