The January transfer window closes tomorrow and it’s fair to say that it’s been the quietest for quite some time on the Arsenal front.
Aside from signing Cohen Bramall from Non-League United FC in exchange for a couple of old Mitre footballs and a guest appearance by Boro Primorac at their end of season awards, we’ve done nothing. Nor have we even pretended that we might.
And that’s good…because it means we’re happy with the quality at our disposal.
Of course, with clickbait headlines to generate the media weren’t going to give up on a potential EXCLUSIVE transfer scoop as the boss squeezed in a Monday morning press conference ahead of the game with Watford.
In addition to questions about the futures of Carl Jenkinson and Mathieu Debuchy, there were no fewer than six transfer-related questions.
Here’s how the boss tackled them…
It’s that time of year again, not long left before the winter transfer window closes, how would you assess it from your point of view?
Very quiet. On our front we have a big squad, we don’t have a need to buy. On a general front, it has been very quiet. That shows that the players available that can strengthen the English teams are not many [in number]. And that all the teams in England, especially the big teams, have big squads. That’s why not a lot happened.
This strength in depth you have, your squad is fit and strong – only Santi Cazorla is missing – has that influenced your thinking in this transfer window ahead of a defining month?
Yes, of course. It’s not only to buy players [for the sake of it], you have to have a need in your squad. I believe number-wise and quality-wise we have what we need to do well. Now it’s down to us to perform with the quality of our focus, the quality of our ambition and our desire to perform in every single game.
Does Welbeck’s return take the pressure off you not to buy a player in January?
Yes, his return, the quality of all our strikers. I think on the offensive front…we played with Perez, Walcott and Welbeck up front [on Saturday]. Giroud was not involved, Sanchez was on the bench, Ozil did not play – offensively we have a strong squad.
This being January and the transfer window, you’re linked with Karim Benzema, you’re linked again, why do you think this is the case?
Because he’s French. Maybe there are some noises that he would leave Madrid. As I just told you, there’s no need for us to buy a striker.
He’s not a player you’d consider even in the summer window?
The summer window? That’s not my worry at the moment, my worry is the next game against Watford. Thank you.
Are you surprised there’s a round of games on deadline day?
It’s not easy but all the big clubs are organised now to have special departments that take care of the transfers. Maybe the managers have a bit less their eye on the transfers than on the game because they have to prepare. I believe that there are people inside the club who take care of the transfers. On the last day of the transfer window it’s always complicated to make a medical. It’s a bit superficial.