These long chilly nights are offering Arsene Wenger plenty of time to line up potential reinforcements for his Arsenal side come January’s transfer window.
After securing a place in the Champions League knock-out stage thanks to a superb 3-0 win in Olympiakos on Wednesday, Wenger is still in the hunt for three trophies this season despite a depleted squad.
A host of injuries to his side, in midfield especially, has seen Wenger left with little beyond a solid starting 11.
Arsenal’s substitutes bench in recent matches has seen no more than one recognised creative or attacking player named due to the rising number of outfielders seeking the Emirates physio.
With midfield linchpin Francis Coquelin is out alongside Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere, leaving Wenger with a gaping hole in his two central midfield positions.
Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini have plugged the gap temporarily but Wenger will be plenty aware that more is needed if a trophy is to come Arsenal’s way this season, especially with the Gunners 15/8 second favourites to claim this season’s very open Premier League.
Wenger has previously signed Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers from Southampton, and the 66-year-old looks set to return to St Mary’s.
Step forward Victor Wanyama, who has featured 13 times for the Saints in the Premier League this term, has strongly emerged as a potential signing for the Gunners.
Wenger was interested in the 24-year-old during his time at Celtic, and it appears the Frenchman is ready to fend off attention from Spurs to capture the Kenyan.
Wanyama has averaged over 29 league appearances in his five full seasons as a professional and is valued by transfermarkt.com at £10.5m.
The 6ft 2in midfielder is already plenty familiar with the rigours of the Premier League, and Southampton’s failure to secure a Europa League group place this season may influence any decision to leave St Mary’s.
Wenger has negotiated the perils of balancing domestic and European attentions well thus far, but there’s little doubting the north Londoners require urgent reinforcements if a sustained challenge on either front is to occur this season.
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