Two weeks until the window shuts - will Wenger surprise us?

By Graham McNorthbank

Two weeks from today Arsene Wenger has to name his 25 man squad - which must contain at least eight home-grown players and a maximum of 17 foreign over-21s (plus unlimited under 21s) - for the first four months of the season.

As things stand, the Gunners' current first-team squad contains 26 players, of which 13 are counted as home-grown, and seven are Under-21s. Just for clarification, only 12 first team players are non home-grown foreigners over the age of 21.

That means that Arsenal still have plenty of scope to add experienced talent before the transfer window closes on August 31.

By my reckoning we can still add up to five players, over the age of 21 who are not classed as 'home-grown'. If we were to sign Shay Given,  I believe he would be classed as home-grown because he was a Blackburn player from the age of 18-21.

The point is, Arsenal are in a pretty luxurious place to be as the pressure on teams to name their 25-men squads on September 1 intensifies.

We all know that Man City have a dozen first team squad members who will not be able to play and so who will be looking for alternative clubs to ensure first team football. Other clubs are not in the same position but there will be some high profile casualties with the likes of Owen Hargreaves, Jonathan Woodgate and Stephen Ireland all mentioned as potential losers of the 25-man rule. Craig Bellamy has opted to drop down a division to play for home town Cardiff, but others will want to remain in the Premier League and the offer of Champions League football should not be underestimated.

So is Wenger waiting to see just who becomes available at the end of the transfer window before he makes his move?

I personally would like to think so, although I'm not going to hold my breath.

Despite what some Gooners would have you believe, Arsene Wenger is not is stupid.

He knows that we're short in defence - he's said so often enough. He also knows the goalkeeping position is far from ideal.

I'm not a betting man, but I reckon Le Gaffer has players in mind for both central defence and goalkeeper and I have a funny feeling he might just surprise us with another player to strengthen an area of the squad where we feel we're already well served - midfield or attack.

I'd like to think that he might go for someone who is a natural wide player because we still don't have too many players who can actually cross a ball. But I think he might sign another forward before August 31 to add some experience to a front line which currently consists of Robin van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela, Marouane Chamakh and Theo Walcott.

I know that Arsenal will score goals from elsewhere, but those five, in my opinion, are too injury prone, unproven and simply not good enough to provide the firepower we need to mount - and sustain - a title challenge.

Or am I wrong on all scores and will Wenger frustrate us all again by putting faith in his players, hoping beyond hope that they can go through one campaign without suffering serious injuries??