Arsene Wenger has moved to address his Arsenal side’s glaring need for a 17 year-old winger by splashing out £12m on Southampton starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
After a pre-season littered with defensive mix-ups, the Gunners boss initially turned his attentions to England centre-backs Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill but was forced to look elsewhere when Everton and Bolton Wanderers rejected the Frenchman’s respective offers of an old family recipe for gratin dauphinois and a scale cardboard cut-out of Sébastien Squillaci.
Writing on his Unseen Incidents and Other Musings Blogspot, Wenger said he was confident that the defensive uncertainty which proved so costly to Arsenal last season can be eradicated by the presence of a fast child at the other end of the pitch.
He wrote: “I am aware of the fans’ concerns regarding our lack of solidity at the back and I can assure them that we are working hard on the training pitch to rectify this problem.
“It might look like a lot of money [that we have paid for Oxlade-Chamberlain] but it will be very helpful to have someone with his pace to run and get some ice the next time Robin van Persie or Theo Walcott collapses with a broken window, strained silence or ruptured ovarian cyst.
“I think that Alex has what it takes to become a very important impact sub for us in years to come.”
He added: “I urge Bolton to think very carefully about our offer. They may laugh but that cardboard cut-out of Squillaci made 32 appearances for us last season.”