So, who is Arsene Wenger going to buy in the January transfer window to bolster our powder-puff frontline? The lacklustre display from both Eduardo and Carlos Vela (amongst others) provided enough evidence for even the most die-hard fan (me) that we need to replace RVP. With AW notoriously tight-lipped over his planned purchases, the speculation has been reignited in the wake of the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Cheslea.
Indeed, only today there are reports that we are said to be lining up an £18million move for Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli – only for the Italians to demand Cesc Fabregas in return! Utterly ludicrous.
Papers, radio bods and TV pundits are speculating that AW is ready to splash out to add firepower to a side that have failed to score in back-to-back defeats without the injured Dutchman.
Italy Under 21 international Balotelli is highly rated, but has a difficult relationship with boss Jose Mourinho and was recently criticised by the self-styled ‘Special One’ in a scathing public assessment of his performances.
The 19-year-old has started just five of 14 matches and after a poor show against Roma, Mourinho said: ‘Balotelli? In my opinion he came close to a zero rating. I didn’t like how he played. He is 19 but could have done much better.’
The powerful 6ft 2in centre forward is thought to be keen on moving to the Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal would more than double his £25,000 a week deal, reports Gazzetta dello Sport.
However, Wenger has alternatives. Sampdoria’s Giampaolo Pazzini, and their are reports in Italy say we are prepared to pay about £16m for the 25-year-old Italy striker, though Samp value him at closer to £23m.
As we saw throughout the summer, another option is Bordeaux’s Marouane Chamakh, the Morocco striker. The possible problem there is that AW had a fall-out with Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud over the tug of war that the French club have indicated they would rather lose him for nothing at the end of the season than do a deal in January.
‘As far as we are concerned, it is out of the question,’ said Triaud. ‘Marouane is a decisive player, and we have important challenges ahead in the league and the Champions League.’If we fail to achieve our goals, we will lose money. Anyway, we will not do anything without (head coach) Laurent Blanc’s approval.’
Yet Chamakh, 25, is out of contract at the end of the season so they may do a U-turn. One other target, according to various media, is Ruud van Horseface. Laughable! Who would you like to see lead our line?