Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not renowned as a big-spender – particularly during the January window, which is notoriously difficult to negotiate deals for high-quality individuals. True to form, he has already indicated to the media that he is unlikely to be busy in the transfer market this month. But with the top end of the Premier League incredibly concertinaed, can they really afford to be left behind if all their rivals strengthen? Here are the three areas that we think Wenger must address to ensure their campaign doesn’t peter out into another damp squib.
Hector Bellerin has become a mainstay of Arsenal’s defence in recent seasons and is one of the first names on manager Arsene Wenger’s team-sheet. His ability to defend, coupled with his rapid pace, makes him a potent force in both boxes. In fact, he is almost irreplaceable. When he is absent, Arsenal look vulnerable. Wenger has a couple of options but neither looks capable of stepping into Bellerin’s shoes. Mathieu Debuchy has played only 16 minutes of football this season, starting the match against Bournemouth before being forced off with an injury in the early stages. There have been rumours of a rift with Wenger, who has said he is willing to listen to offers for the former Newcastle United man in January.
Another potential option is Carl Jenkinson, who has never really established himself in the starting XI despite having been tipped as a potential England regular a few years ago. He spent the previous two seasons on loan at West Ham United but has failed to convince Wenger that he is worthy of a place in his starting XI. Like Debuchy, Jenkinson has also been linked with a move away from the Emirates this month. Wenger clearly believes neither is good enough to challenge Bellerin, which is why the Frenchman needs to look to strengthen this area as a matter of urgency.