“The Arsenal medical staff are interfering with transfers.” As a headline that is pretty damning, suggesting that the medical staff are deliberately affecting the transfer business of Arsene Wenger. That’s not the truth, but it’s a half truth.
Arsene Wenger confirmed in December that more than one signing was likely. A few weeks later it was New Years and at that time Mohamed Elneny was building up his fitness with Sam Wilson (Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach). Arsenal were looking to be without a few key players for a couple of months and rumours continued to swirl that Granit Xhaka and Lars Bender were linked to the club. I had heard that Havard Nordveit was possibly coming back as well. These rumours were all logical but never confirmed by Wenger (he never does though).
While Arsenal did have scouts at Monchengladbach matches this really is not saying very much as Arsenal have had scouts running around Germany all season. Arsenal have also been dipping into the resources with agencies and scouting firms for intel too. These players the club has been scouting are unlikely to join Arsenal this window. That said, the original plan was surely for these players to arrive in the summer, if they arrived at all. There was not enough solid data this season to support making a decision for one of those three right now as Leverkusen and Monchengladbach have struggled at various points. Any decision to buy them was more due to squad depth than anything, and the medical staff have changed that outlook for Wenger.
Francis Coquelin, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck are back in various forms. Even Wilshere is making strides on the training pitches. As Coquelin is ahead of schedule and Arsenal’s challenge after Chelsea is minimal (save Leicester), the manager is no longer forced into a move. The transfers that Arsenal need to push Arteta out and likely Flamini as well will be halted until the summer time. We may still be forced to see Arteta come on to negative effect (Remember West Brom in November?).
Arsenal’s medical staff are affecting the decision making of Wenger in the transfer window. It seems to be the one time that they are doing their best is the time when a little haste is needed on Wenger’s part. While I am thrilled to see Coquelin back, one injury to him and I’m tempted to hit the panic button. Chambers and Flamini are not the ones I want to rely on late in the season, especially May 7th at City when the title is on the line.
Our thanks to returning guest Morgan who is the Chair of Arsenal Canada and writes a referee blog that is available every Friday called the Third Yellow