Wednesday night ruled out the likes of Yaya Toure, Lorik Cana and Xabi Alonso as potential midfield targets for Arsenal and with Gareth Barry figuring in Aston Villa's game in Iceland last night and Michael Johnson doing likewise for Man City against Danish outfit Midtjylland, Arsene Wenger's options were further diminished.
Names such as Anthony Annan, who is currently plying his trade in Norway, also remain a possibility for the Gunners' vacant defensive midfield slot, but Le Gaffer pledged on Wednesday that he would be bringing in an experienced midfielder, so I'm ruling Annan out on that basis. Mind you, he also played for Norwegian side Strabaek in the UEFA Cup last night, so we can add him to the cup-tied list,
I'm not saying that Wenger will necessarily rule out bids for any of the aforementioned players, but with those individuals now barred from competing in European competition for other clubs until at least February, I'd be surprised if the Arsenal board would sanction dusting off the seldom-used club cheque book for someone they couldn't have full use of.
On the other hand, the value of those players will have tumbled now that they are cup-tied. But it wouldn't exactly send out the correct message about Arsenal's finances if that was the case.
So as a result of the main contenders for the former Mathieu Flamini and Gilberto role dropping out of the running, are we now realistically looking at Gokhan Inler as the last man standing?
Indeed, is he the only man on Arsene Wenger's short list who is not cup-tied?
If that's the case then the irony is that Inler's club, Udinese, could inflate his price knowing that Arsenal are desperate. Unless, of course, the rumours of the Swiss international having a £5 million buy-out clause in his contract are true.
And then there is the Wenger factor. Will he surprise us all by signing a player we know very little about, as he did with Bacary Sagna, Emmanuel Adebayor and countless others. Or will we be hearing in a few days time that he has changed his mind and he'll rely on Abou Diaby, Denilson and Alexandre Song to fight for the chance to make the defensive midfield position their own?
But should Arsene have made a move weeks ago? I know it's sacrilege to question Le Prof, but it's Friday and I'm in a rebellious mood, so right here right now I'm calling the great man's judgement on this matter a bit suspect. There, I said it. Feel free to shout at me.
Speaking of which, there was quite a debate among you Addicts yesterday about just who we should go for to strengthen the team, but with five options effectively gone, let's see where that discussion takes us today - Inler or A.N.Other? Have your say using our comments section.