“We’re delighted with the current squad. We’re not going to sign anyone in January. We’ve bought a lot of players and some will have to leave,” said Perez.
With that pronouncement, the axe might be falling on some players in defence; Pepe and Coentrao; midfield, Di Maria. Certainly, of all the fringe players, the one that might interest Arsenal is Argentine winger Angel Di Maria. He was a purported Arsenal target in the summer but elected to stay at the Bernabeu and fight for his place in the team. But now that he has been subtly declared surplus to requirements, should Arsenal return for him?
Arguments for Arsenal signing would be the seeming lack of wingers but I say that’s an artificial scarcity owing to injuries. We have Walcott, Chamberlain and Podolski before but owing to Ozil’s arrival, some players are been shifted to the wings a la Cazorla, Rosicky and Wilshere. That leaves us with 4 players that can operate on the right wing (Walcott, Rosicky, Chamberlain and Cazorla) and 5 on the left (Podolski, Rosicky, Chamberlain, Cazorla and Wilshere). Where would Di Maria play if he joins? For those who might argue that he is a natural left winger, let me remind you that Wenger doesn’t like playing natural wingers on the wings, he prefers strikers (Walcott) and playmakers (Hleb, Rosicky, Arshavin).
Besides, Arsenal are still interested in Liverpool’s Suarez and should the Uruguayan arrive at the Emirates, he will likely play on the left of Arsenal’s tripartite attack. He isn’t likely to play ahead of Giroud if he is fit because the Frenchman is needed to deal with the aerial balls and also hold up play.
In short, Arsenal might be short of natural wingers, but in reality, they aren’t short of Wenger’s kind of wingers. Should Di Maria join Arsenal, he would have to make do with the bench and that will be injustice to his form ahead of the crucial world cup. Arsenal don’t need him. What we need is a striker that can play on the wings and not another winger that can’t strike.