Friday, 11 October 2013

Llorente heads up January wish list -Wenger's hint -Ozil loving London life

Morning Gooners.

The talk today is about the signing of a striker in January and the name which has popped up in the popular press is that over Spain international Fernando Llorente. The 28-year-old signed for Juventus last summer from Athletic Bilbao but is now struggling to oust Carlos Tevez from the starting line up. Now both the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror are suggesting that he's one of the targets Arsene Wenger is looking at for the winter window.

Quite why Llorente would want to swap the bench at Turin for one in London is a question I'd raise straight away, because at the moment there is no way he'd be getting in the team ahead of Olivier Giroud. It would also almost certainly be the final nail in his coffin for his career in Italy. You don't really come back from signing for a club and then leaving them on loan in the next window.

That's not to say we don't need a striker. It is plainly obvious that behind Giroud we have very limited options. Of course we have Nicklas Bendtner and if he comes good between now and Christmas he's always an option. But a title/cup winning team won't be one spear-headed by either Yaya Sango or Chuba Akpom at this stage of their career.

But we're not going to find a striker in January who meets all our criteria. And if we do we're going to have to pay a lot more than the £42.5m we splashed out for Mesut Ozil in August. The club are still keen on Luis Suarez, but it feels like that ship might have sailed last summer. Although with the financial position Real Madrid are in, who's to say they'll be able to afford the Uruguayan next summer as they appear to be our only major rivals for the striker's signature.

One man we need to tie down to a new contract however is the manager and he's dropped a strong hint that he'll be penning a new deal with us, worth £8m a season.

Wenger told AP:
"I can see the rest of my life in England, why not?. 
"I feel comfortable in this country because we share a common passion for football and as well I am very thankful for this country for having accepted me and giving me a chance. I am happy on the football pitch."
 I don't think it'll be long before the new three year contract is announced. We've had an excellent start to the season - far better than most of us would have imagined after the Aston Villa defeat. And while Wenger said he'd like to wait and see how well this team performed over the course of the season, I can see no other reason for him to wait to put pen to paper.

Elsewhere, Arsenal's record signing Mesut Ozil has been speaking about his time in London so far.

He said:
"I feel great in London, the coach gives me the trust, the team is fully behind me and I feel very, very well there. 
"I can only say that [Wenger] is a great coach who knows exactly what he wants and has a clear vision. We need a coach like that if we want to be successful. 
"London is an interesting city to live in. I have grown to love this place in such a short space of time."
I think it's fair to say that we've only seen brief glimpses of what Ozil can produce in the opening six games of his Arsenal career. He's still to gel totally in this team and that will take time. But those flashes of magic, plus the belief he's brought to the players around him have certainly been worth every penny we've paid for him. I don't think he's yet to really impose himself on games just yet, but I'd guess that's something we'll see in time.

If we can buy a striker with the same star qualities of Ozil, I don't think we'd be too far from a team who can win trophies. We might just be able to win a pot this season with the players we've got... here's hoping!

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