Whether or not they start for Arsenal today, I fully expect Abou Diaby and Cesc Fabregas to be our first-choice midfield next season.
With Denilson and Aaron Ramsey as back-up, we’re fully covered in that position, despite the departures of Mathieu Flamini and Gilberto Silva.
So it surprised me last night when Arsene Wenger suggested that that midfield was where he was looking to strengthen. Despite the protestations from Udinese, it gives credence to the link with Gokhan Inler, but with the recovering Tomas Rosicky and newcomer Samir Nasri also able to play centrally, is Wenger doing the right thing focusing on the middle of the park?
Wenger said last night: “It’s not a problem [if we don’t sign anyone] because we have enough young players who can step in but we lost experience and if we can get a midfielder with experience who can play a tactical role we will do it. We need one more body in there.
“If we can do one more signing we will do it. But it will need to be quality. It has to be the right person and that is very difficult at the moment.”
That would tend to rule out a move for a centre-back, a position many Gooners think needs strengthening, with doubts over the capabilities of understudies Philippe Senderos, Johann Djourou and the Hoyte brothers, let along the ability for Toure and Gallas to play together.
In my mind, getting rid of either of them and bringing someone else in and really giving Havard Nordtveit a run in the Carling Cup may be our best strategy.
That said, while I’ve not been in favour of shelling out big money for Gareth Barry, he’s a versatile player who could provide competition and cover in defence and midfield.
The fact that Wenger refused to name names is all par for the course…but failing to rule out a player such as Barry suggests to me that maybe there is some truth in the rumour after all.