Bielik Deal Done, Gabriel Paulista Next?
There’s something about the January transfer window. It’s like that kinda girl you have a thing for but can’t really do anything because of the ‘barriers’ here and there. At Arsenal, there have been a couple of transfers in this window but not all of them have gone all the way to make significant impacts. The most expensive January signing the club has ever made was that Russian hobbit that hit the ground running like a house on fire but as the years went by, he lost some form and confidence before shipped away in a blue ribbon to his former employers.
At the beginning of the season, the club did some good business in replacing the departed Lukasz Fabianski and Bacary Sagna with David Ooooooooooooooooospina and Matt Debuchy. Calum Chambers and Alexis Sanchez were the other additions but it was glaring that the club needed a new center back especially after selling Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona. There was also talk of getting a new defensive midfielder but a center back looked more like a priority.
When Laurent Koscielny got injured, Arsenal’s lack of depth at the back was badly exposed with makeshift center backs like Nacho Monreal, Chambers and even Debuchy featuring alongside Per Mertesacker. Mikel Arteta’s fitness issues as well as Mathieu Flamini’s niggling injuries / poor form raised concerns for a new DM… then the Coq came along and his fantasy story continues. There has been some whispers about an ‘arrangement’ to sign Morgan Schneiderlein in the summer but the Coq-y one would serve as the club’s interim mitigation plan in the holding midfield role till the summer. However, the club has purchased 17-year-old Polish wonderkid, Kryztian Bielik, for a fee believed to be around £2.5m. Of course, the YouTube folks have created some compilations and he looks really decent and I hope he gets his debut during the Brighton game.
Which brings us to the next question – which center back is going to join Arsenal this January? Talks of West Ham’s Winston Reid has been gathering momentum but the Hammers want £8m for a bloke with barely five months left on his contract. What are they smoking at Upton Park? Or preferably, what type of gum is the big Walrus chewing?
Out of the blue, the Spanish Press emerge with speculation on Villarreal’s Gabriel Paulista and the player himself has been talking about being ‘calm’ as things are progressing. The last time Arsenal and Villarreal did business, they actually paid some money (£2m) to buy Pascal Cygan. I really hope his spirit doesn’t linger in the dressing room affecting other players and all, but there could potentially be some problems in the Bautista deal because the lad might have work permit issue.
I’d keep you updated as things unfold.