In a match against the unpronounceable Szombathelyi Haladas in Hungary last night, our strikers proved that there is life after Adebayor, a Van Persie penalty adding to braces from Eduardo and Bendtner in a 5-0 cruise.
With many debating exactly where, if anywhere, Wenger should spend his now found cash, it was perfect timing, especially coming in the wake of a stunning second half performance by Carlos Vela in the Gold Cup final, as he inspired Mexico to a 5-0 drubbing of USA. I defy anyone who saw it not to be excited.
All this leaves Wenger with an array of attacking options. If the pre-season friendlies are anything to go by, it seems likely we’ll be playing three forwards, two roving behind a spearhead, and with options spreading beyond the four already mentioned to Arshavin, Nasri, Walcott and Rosicky. Honestly, I’m not convinced we need anyone else up there.
However, the formation does emphasise how much we still need another central midfielder. With two of the three forwards coming in from the flanks, the remaining three midfielders are quite narrow, effectively all playing in the centre. And whereas three forwards from the list above is a tantalising prospect, three from Cesc, Song, Diaby, Denilson, and Ramsey is less frightening for the opposition.
And heading even further back , the squad is dangerously close to complete overhaul. The rumours of Toure moving to City are getting stronger, with Wenger even intimating that a deal is close. Assuming Senderos is also on his way out, as the boss suggested last week, and that Silvestre isn’t going to fare any better with his legs another year older, and we’re left with Gallas, Vermaelen and Djourou. Meanwhile, if Eboue adds to the departing African contingent, then Sagna is increasingly without cover at right back.
If all of these exits happen (and I’m yet to be convinced, especially with Eboue), then not only will we be short of numbers at the back, but there will be a great pressure on Wenger to spend – with City signing Ade and Toure for a combined fee of around £40m, everyone will know we have cash available.
But we shouldn’t panic. Wenger often leaves his signings until deadline day, and I could very easily see him relying on the group of Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Sagna and Djourou before picking up a bargain at the last minute. Will it frustrate fans to see it happen that way? Of course. Would it end up with us getting value for money? Probably.
One thing is for sure – it will be an interesting month or so. Wenger’s no fool – he knows he failed to replace our central midfield last summer, he isn’t about to repeat the mistake with our backline.