04 August 2014

Khedira, Carvalho, some other guy, and Wenger's Law; is there one more signing in the offing?

After what amounts to a mad-cap July, one in which we added Alexis, Debuchy, Ospina, and Chambers, brought Joel Campbell in,  sold Eisfeld, saw Sagna leave, and loaned Jenkinson out (among others), things seem to have settled down a bit. The arrival of actual football may have interrupted things, but that doesn't have to mean that Arsène has put away his chequebook. Yaya Sanogo's performance against Benfica doesn't prove that we are set at striker, but it may have convinced Arsène that we are. However, rumors continue to circle around us signing a defensive midfielder, with Sami Khedira and William Carvalho the most-often mentioned. However, something tells me we'll see someone else entirely. Who? Can't say. Perhaps Le Prof will pounce on this powerful player soon...

Why can't I say? One, I'm not Arsène. Only he knows. Two, Wenger's Law of Inverse Relationships commands me not to name him even if I do know, which, again, I don't. However, Wenger's Law has been borne out often enough that I'm confident that we won't be signing Khedira or Carvalho, but that we'll signing someone even more provocative and perfect for us.

Wenger's Law, for those who haven't come across it or have forgotten, first emerged as a theory during the spring of 2013, when countless stories around us and Stevan Jovetic, Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Gustavo, and Luis Suarez all came to naught. Instead, we were greeted by the signing of a certain German midfielder, to whom we were only linked in the last few days before he was signed. Perforce, Wenger's Law describes the inverse relationship between how early and often we're linked to a player and how likely we are to actually sign him. The theory gathered strength in January 2014 when it was Draxler to whom we were linked without signing but were greeted by Källström, around whom there had been almost no buzz at all. There are exceptions, of course, as our pursuit of Alexis was rumored for weeks before his signing was confirmed. As the saying goes, the exception proves the rule...

With these trends in mind, it looks unlikely that we'll see Khedira, Carvalho, or Schneiderlin grinning and holding an Arsenal kit. Pity. We need a powerful player who can protect the back four, a deep-lying playmaker who can pass the ball up the pitch, someone who can pummel and punish, pirouette and prance. If his pompadour is a bit peculiar, perfect. Shall I persist? Perhaps not.

I don't want to name names; if Wenger's Law does carry the same force as, say the law of gravity, it could nullify any deal for this particular player. All kidding aside, I do wonder if there's something to it. As we all know, almost all of the transfer-rumors we suffer are concocted by some mixture of players, agents, hangers-on, media hacks, and more. In most cases, we can treat them as a harmless diversion from a summer otherwise bereft of football news. Still, something in it makes me wonder whether the relative quiet around certain players might reflect an unspoken agreement between player, agent, and clubs when negotiations are real. For someone who plays it as close to the vest as does Arsène, I wouldn't be surprised if he inisists on a certain sense of discretion in his dealings.

Such proclivities might preclude us from possessing certain players; then again, it produces other, more-provocative possibilities...