The Gunners’ season opener couldn’t have gone any worse – they lost 3-1 to a side that narrowly avoided relegation last term after referee Anthony Taylor awarded the visitors tow dubious penalties and sent off defender Laurent Koscielny.
Injuries to Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bacary Sagna leave Arsenal with barely enough senior players for fill a starting XI as they head out to Istanbul to face Fenerbahce in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier on Wednesday evening.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew slammed Arsenal’s offer for the French midfielder as ‘derisory’ and ‘unacceptable’ but he admitted the 27-year-old’s head had been turned by the interest and subsequently he was withdrawn from Pardew’s squad ahead of their 4-0 defeat at the Etihad to Manchester City on Monday night.
With just two recognized defenders fit and available for selection at present (Per Mertesacker and youngster Carl Jenkinson) and only one recognized centre-forward at senior level in Olivier Giroud, Arsenal’s pursuit of Cabaye seems a little bizarre, given the players their missing in other key areas.
Cabaye is an attacking central midfielder of which Arsenal already have Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey. With Mikel Arteta injured they really need a defensive midfielder or a winger to replace Oxlade-Chamberlain who could be out for three to six months with a knee injury.
At the back, captain Thomas Vermaelen and left-back Nacho Monreal are expected to be out for the next few weeks and potentially months and the lack of quality options up front is a concern for the fans.
With a wealth of decent options in midfield, is Yohan Cabaye really what Arsenal need as a matter of urgency? Surely a defender, or even two ideally, should be the priority? Wenger only has two senior goalkeepers and, realistically, neither of them is all that reliable.
Arsenal had the chances to win the Villa game even with the dubious decisions but their finishing and play in the final third was lacking in quality and imagination. I don’t believe Yohan Cabaye, as good as he is for Newcastle, is going to be able to solve any of the problems exposed on Saturday. He would add quality and depth to an area of the team where they already have enough quality options.
What do you think? Should Cabaye be a priority?