After the sale of Flamini and Gilberto this summer, Wenger is still searching for a replacement to play the defensive midfield role which these two have in the past.
We have options at the club already, most notably Diaby, who has played the role during pre-season. I have blogged before about Diaby and I think he has talent, but he doesn’t seem to be able to fulfil his potential.
There are other players in the squad, such as Song, who can play in central midfield, but Diaby is the only real option which makes sense.
The problem for me is that last year the squad did not have the strength and depth which is appropriate for title challengers. We have now let two first teamers go, and no-one has replaced them.
Wenger wants to bring in another midfielder, who is more experienced, and this makes the most sense, after Members’ Day he said:
“If we have everybody on board and nobody injured then [OK] but maybe we could do to take one more experienced player.”
This is true – we could manage this season with our current squad if no-one gets injured and use Diaby in central midfield. He is a good player and we have a strong first team. But there is not enough cover for Diaby, and it would be too easy for that to go wrong.
If we really are challenging next year the best option is, as Wenger says, to bring in an experienced player, and then Diaby would be used as back up. That would be the perfect outcome – but if we can’t find the right guy then we may go ahead with a weakened squad.
So keep looking Arsene, I just hope you find the right guy before time runs out!