With Arsenal’s first summer signing now complete, Arsene Wenger has stuck to form by capturing yet another reasonably unheard of name, however, this time he seems to have gone about his business in a more objective manner.
In the past, names such as Manu Adebayor, Cesc Fabregas or Matt Flamini were all brought into the club as young players that Wenger could develop before gradually bringing them into the first team as talented regulars. But with this rather immediate signing of a 23-year-old defender to fill an obvious gap at the back it appears to suggest a certain surge of urgency.
After a little research it does look as though Thomas Vermaelen certainly has the potential to stamp some authority into a much confused Arsenal defence but what intrigues me here is the nature of this signing. Is it not rare of Wenger to go into the transfer market looking for a specific vital ingredient that can be thrown straight into the stew? Usually when we see unfamiliar faces in the first team they have actually been at the club for some time and have worked their way through the ranks. Of course, our new Belgian defender isn’t necessarily an Arsenal regular yet, but it would certainly appear that is Wenger’s aim.
I’m getting the impression that after four years without a trophy and other clubs throwing money about here and there, Wenger has finally decided that the club is currently inferior and buying quality players to fill specific roles (regardless of their age or cost) is maybe the only answer. In January we had so many injuries that Wenger was forced to do something insanely crazy – spend £15 million on a 27-year-old in Andre Arshavin. With the success of that signing, maybe the Frenchman has decided that isn’t the worst way to go about things after all.