With the news that midfielder Santi Carzola has ligament damage in his knee, the Arsenal long-term injury list has a roster more likely to win the Premier League than the current starters. While injuries to the Gunners are as expected as snow in Maine, this year’s seem particularly troubling to fans of the North London club.
There are two main reasons for this concern: the club has its best chance to win the league in years, and the injuries are to the most critical players on the roster. Losing an Alexis Sanchez is more critical than, say, Jack Wilshere. His world-class ability is nearly impossible to replace.
But that does not mean Arsenal should not try. In fact, in one month, Arsenal should put all their chips on red and spend money to replace … everyone. It is not enough to buy a striker and a defensive midfielder. The Gunners should try to buy a quality Premier League-level player at as many positions as possible.
Why should the usually conservative club throw away their habits and overspend to acquire players that may not fit into the club?
- Injuries are becoming common-place, thus greater depth is required: Year after year, Arsenal face injury crisis. While every club faces some injury problem Arsenal’s goals are regularly derailed by a unit being felled. If the club is going to compete in the Champions League and Premier League, it needs to acknowledge the bench mustphysioroom be a higher quality.
- Favorites Manchester City have their own injury issues: The loss of Vincent Kompany has decidedly hurt City’s defense and the loss of Joe Hart certainly does not help. While Sergio Aguero’s injury seemingly now is a bruise, the club has still stumbled of late and looks less invincible than they did early in the season.
- Manchester United lack punch: While their defense has been impressive, injuries and ineffectiveness mean that United lack a critical element that could help the team take control of the title race. United have the financial resources to fix this in January, another reason Arsenal should match their spending or surpass it.
- Liverpool and Tottenham, despite their hot form, are inconsistent: Both clubs are the hot properties of the moment and have the kind of talent, coaching, and resources to make a run at the title. But Liverpool has moments of relapse that undue it and Spurs have trouble routinely defeating the top four clubs.
- This summer will unleash massive spending: Manchester City has been sitting on its revenue due to financial fair play, but if rumors are to be believed, not only will they be spending top dollar on a new coach but they will be chasing the kind of top dollar players he likes to employ. Possible new coaches mean Chelsea and Manchester United will be going on their own spending spree in the summer, so the current leveling of the top 6-7 could quickly become an arms race among the league’s three richest clubs. By spending now, Arsenal has additional time to integrate big signings in the spring, thus giving them a talent infusion at the end of this season and summer months to further integrate new players.