Arsenal will continue to look elsewhere for a new striker this January after boss, Arsene Wenger, ruled out any possibility of Newcastle’s Demba Ba joining the Emirates club.
Ba, who has been prolific for the Magpies this year, reportedly has a £7m release clause in his contract and is the target of serious transfer speculation from a number of Premier League and European clubs. Arsenal were believed to be frontrunners to sign the Senegalese international, but Wenger stood firm in late December over any proposed deal.
“I like Demba Ba, yes,” said Wenger, when quizzed about the striker. “If you ask me ‘do we sign Demba Ba?’ I say no.”
The news has certainly frustrated Arsenal fans on Betfair.com, who are desperate to see Wenger bolster his front-line this January. For Arsenal have not fully recovered from the loss of Robin van Persie to Manchester United in the summer and, despite spending over £40m on three new forwards, there is serious need to improve that position this winter.
While Santi Cazorla has proven a success at the Emirates, neither Lukas Podolski nor Olivier Giroud have offered anything close to the match-winning ability of Van Persie. The same goes for Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho – over which, the less said about the better.
Wenger needs a striker in January and, at £7m, Ba was seen as the perfect target for the Gunners. Indeed, after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar signed a new deal at Schalke to end speculation that he was on the move to London, it was almost certain Arsenal would move in for Ba this winter.
Yet Wenger clearly has his eyes elsewhere and Gunners fans must be patient he can come up with the goods before February arrives. Arsenal must strengthen over this transfer window or risk justifying the football bet in-play regarding the side’s Champions League chances – a predicament that would tarnish Wenger’s era at the club.