Wenger’s late scramble fails to deliver a striker to Arsenal

Arsene Wenger failed to add a striker to his Arsenal squad on transfer deadline day, despite making three loan bids in an attempt to do so.

Although the Gunners are well placed to finally end their silverware drought this season, it is largely accepted that their chances of success would be better served if they had more options in attack. Olivier Giroud, the France international, has carried the load for much of the season and done so admirably, with 13 goals in 29 appearances.

But should the former Montpellier forward suffer an injury, then Wenger would be reliant on the inconsistent Nicklas Bendtner as a replacement. Lukas Podolski is another option, but the German international is often preferred in a wide role, whilst England’s Theo Walcott has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.

So fans of the Emirates Stadium club have been desperate for reinforcements during the January window, having been left frustrated during the summer. But despite cash being available to Wenger, he failed to make the striker signing and this could ultimately prove to his difference between adding to the honours list and another close miss.

The French coach is believed to have made three approaches on deadline day, all of which failed. Salomon Kalou, the former Chelsea striker, was on the radar, but Lille refused to let him leave on loan and instead wanted a permanent deal. German international Miroslav Klose was another target, but Lazio didn’t want to let him go. A more surprising want was Papiss Cisse, but again Wenger hit a brick wall with Newcastle United.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week, a move for Julian Draxler was scrapped. Arsenal had spent much of the month in pursuit of the attacking midfielder, and Schalke were prepared to let the 20-year-old leave for a fee of around £37million. And although this was available to Wenger, he is said to have thought it too high a price for the 20-year-old.

There was one arrival at the North London club, though, yet it is not one which has been warmly welcomed by all at the Emirates. Sweden international Kim Kallstrom, 31, has signed on loan for the rest of the season from Spartak Moscow, with the former Lyon ace drafted in to cover for the currently absent Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini.

Having dropped two points following a 2-2 draw with Southampton in midweek, Arsenal have slipped to second in the Premier League standings, a point behind Manchester City. They welcome Liverpool in the fifth round of the FA Cup later this month, and they take on holders Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.


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