By Chris Harris
When the transfer window closes on Monday, we will know once and for all whether Arsenal have landed Andrei Arshavin.
But while the 'will he, won't he?' saga approaches its conclusion, some Arsenal fans are wondering why Arsène Wenger's major January target is a Russian playmaker. After all, he intimated last summer that a central midfielder - or even a centre back - was top of his shopping list.
Wenger was asked about his recruitment priorities at Friday's press conference and had a firm answer for those who feel Arsenal need more 'tough guys' in the spine of their team. The Frenchman insists that it is difficult to improve on his current batch of midfielders and defenders.
"I believe that we have the needed quality in the middle because [Abou] Diaby develops very well and I think that [Alex] Song develops well," said Wenger. "And I don't believe that Denilson gets the credit that he deserves at the moment.
"At the back you can see the quality of players we have like [William] Gallas and Kolo [Toure] and [Johan] Djourou, they are in their national teams and to find better players is not easy.
"I agree that people always want better players but many clubs when they want better players come to see us so that means our players are good. For example Milan wanted [Philippe] Senderos, Senderos is 22 and Milan have scouts everywhere, so that's why I believe we have the needed quality.
"Djourou is 21 and you think he will be better and we have to give him a chance."
So why is Wenger after Arshavin? "What is very important at a big club is that you need a creative unit that you can interchange," explained Wenger. "They are the players that are most difficult to find."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source