Just as Arsenal were beginning to scrape their way out of their recent troublesome period, along came Tottenham just at the wrong time.
The Gunners were found wanting again as they crashed to another league defeat away to their fiercest rivals leaving them languishing in 15th place. It wasn’t just a lack of enthusiasm and team effort though, the Gunners were seriously lacking in leadership and creativity, something the players of the past such as Fabregas, Henry and Viera had in abundance.
Appropriate then that on the back of this poor show, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly lining up a January swoop for Sochaux midfielder Ryad Boudebouz. Despite sounding like a kids TV character, Boudebouz is seen as a creative replacement for the long-term injured Jack Wilshere and the left-footed youngster is highly regarded across Europe as having great potential. Wenger has seemingly moved in fast holding talks with Sochaux officials in an attempt to secure the player’s interest in joining the Gunners come January but it is unclear as to whether the player is contractually available or potentially weighing up his options.
Wenger will already be looking forward to the New Year after being told he will have the funds available to strengthen his depleted and dejected squad and an agreement for Boudabouz now would reassure the Gunners boss that progress can be made.
The 21 year old Algerian international could cost the Gunners a bargain basement £8million however they may face stiff competition if the midfielder is available for transfer. Both Newcastle and Liverpool expressed an interest over the summer and right now league positions could waiver Boudabouz decision and not necessarily favour Wengers men.
If Wenger can flex some muscle during these talks the talented midfielder will undoubtably boost the flagging morale at the Emirates and revitalize their attack. Boudabouz was exceptional for the French Ligue 1 side, assisting Sochaux to fifth place in the league resulting in qualification for the Europa league. And his French connection with Wenger could just be the ticket to warn off interest from Kenny Dalglish and Alan Pardew.
The Liverpool boss has underlined his desire to bring Boudabouz to Anfield and may put together a hefty financial package to prise him from Wengers clutches. The Newcastle boss on the other hand may be able to draw on the fortunate circumstances that see his club currently residing in a Champions League spot and that may sway the young Algerian again if they are still up there come January.
Whether its money, competition or the prospect of joining Wenger’s revolution that entices Boudabouz to the Premiership, there is no question that he will have an abundance of first team opportunity to display his talent and continue his exceptional development.
If Boudabouz is wise he will see the challenging but career rewarding opportunity at Arsenal to winch them back up where they belong to the top of the table but it remains to be seen just how far that winch may need to stretch. One thing’s for sure, if Wenger is to have any hope of signing anyone in the transfer window, even Ryad Boudabouz, the Gunners will need to show more signs of progress from where they are at this moment in time otherwise the slide will simply continue.