ESPN FC: Arsenal miss opportunity
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given a broad hint that he may yet seal a major transfer in the January window after all after claiming he may ‘have a surprise’ to announce before Friday’s deadline.
Wenger has insisted in his recent press conferences that it was ‘highly unlikely’ that he would make a big money move in this window.
But that position may be shifting in the final days of January, with injuries to Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have left the depth of his squad under scrutiny once more.
Schalke’s Julian Draxler has constantly been linked with a move to Arsenal throughout this window, yet Wenger would not be drawn on his possible targets in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.
“I hope we have something to tell you [on transfers], but not tonight,” was his cryptic response to a question about his transfer plans after his side's 2-2 draw at Southampton. “We lose a few players now and I have to think about it.”
Wenger claimed he was satisfied with the point his side collected in the draw at St Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday, admitting his side were in danger of being overwhelmed by a flying start from the Saints.
“The first half was the most difficult we have had in the Premier League this season,” stated Wenger. “It was down to us and also down to the quality Southampton showed. They played at a high tempo and made it difficult for us.
“In the first half, if you said I would take a point I maybe would not believe you, but it shows the character of the players to come back in the second half.
“You want the three points in every game but it is a difficult place Southampton. When you look at the overall record it can happen sometimes away from home you take only one point.”
Meanwhile, Wenger confirmed midfielder Ramsey is set for a further spell on the sidelines, as he suffered a recurrence of the injury that has kept him out of action for the last month in training on Monday.
“Aaron Ramsey is out for longer than we expected as he had a little setback yesterday,” added Wenger. “It is the same muscle. He felt it a bit again so we have to be cautious this time.”
Ramsey’s latest injury, the ongoing concerns over Wilshere’s ankle problems and the four-game suspension looming for Mathieu Flamini after his red card at Southampton leaves Arsenal’s midfield looking a little light on numbers heading in a crucial run of games in February.
If Wenger was considering rolling the dice and trying to force through his big-money move for Draxler, circumstances may just be encouraging him to make the deal happen.