June 19 2013 Latest news:
by Jem Maidment
Thursday, February 2, 2012
While Spurs and Chelsea bought, Arsene Wenger spent just £600,000 on an unknown German teenager
He wasn't the attacking midfielder from Borussia Dortmund Arsenal fans may have hoped for but he was all they were going to get.
The twinkling toes of Germany international Mario Gotze conservative value 18million - remain in North Rhine Westphalia.
But club mate and compatriot Thomas Eisfeld estimated fee, including add-ons, 600,000 did make the move to north London.
Arsenal supporters hoping Arsene Wenger would boost his squad with a big-name signing were, again, left disappointed when the transfer window slammed shut at 11pm on Tuesday. It was a case of Thomas who?
"What do you expect?" asked former Arsenal manager and player Terry Neill, after the window had closed.
"I'd love us to have brought in a top quality player because we need one. And I bet you anything you like Arsene would have liked to have strengthened.
"But who could he have brought in that would improve the squad instantly? If someone could come up with a legitimate name, who is both available and of sufficient quality, then fine.
"Panic buying in the January transfer window is not the kind of thing Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson tend to do and I'll go with what they do every day of the week.
"We've had horrendous injuries but it is slowly easing: Bacary Sagna is back, Kieron Gibbs has started training this week, we still hope to see Jack Wilshere back before the end of the month. And Abou Diaby too."
The fans, though, are not so content with a crucial month ahead as the Gunners prepare to face AC Milan in the Champions League and attempt to make up ground on the top four.
Despite disastrous January league form and those injury problems Wenger refused point blank to press the panic button and make a quick-fix purchase.
Eisfeld, who is only 19, is another marked for the 'one for the future' tray.
Due to be out of contract in the summer, Wenger admitted he was forced to make his move six months early despite indicating at the weekend he did not expect any new faces this week.
"He is a young prospect with good footballing talent," Wenger said of Eisfeld, who has not featured for the Dortmund first team but has netted six in 12 games for the club's Under-19s this season.
"He has the good ingredients that could allow him to integrate into the quality of our team the basics are technique, good movement and skill.
"We believe that he has a chance to develop well here... we planned to get him at the end of the season but we got him a bit earlier because he was at the end of his contract. We will use this period for adaptation."
And that was that.
As Tuesday evening wore on, it became evident to Arsenal fans hooked to Jim White on Sky Sports News that there would be no significant incomings, even though Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea all brought in well-known faces in the form of David Pizarro, Louis Saha and Kevin De Bruyne respectively.
Ryo Miyaichi was farmed out to last nights opponents Bolton Wanderers, but reports of Andrey Arshavins imminent departure proved wide of the mark for now.
The under-fire midfielder, once a hero but now singled out by the Emirates crowd for abuse after months of lacklustre displays, was reported to be in preliminary talks with mega-rich Anzhi Makhachkala, although his preferred destination, with 18 months left on his Emirates contract, is believed to be former club Zenit St Petersburg
It could still happen this month as the Russian transfer window does not close until February 24.