Arsene Wenger came out today and told of his admiration for striker Konstantinos Mitroglou: "At Arsenal, he is well known since we played Olympiakos in the Champions League. I'm happy for him because this is a guy who has both a physical presence and a sense of finishing…. This is a true finisher. He must try to evolve to a higher level to see what he really is capable of. In any case, all the major European clubs will certainly be alert. When you look at his statistics, we cannot ignore."
He is valued at around £8 million, and has a superb 22 goals in 18 games for club and country this season.
And right on cue? Not quite disaster, but some very bad luck.
Olympiakos have confirmed that Mitroglou has suffered a knee injury, and will undergo exploratory surgery.
The best news diagnosis is that the Greek international striker will have one month out of action, but as Arsenal fans will testify, these injury timescales have a habit of extending.
Even that most promising of diagnosis, would still keep him out until pretty much the beginning of January, when the transfer window re-opens.
Perfect timing? Not really. Instead of being bang in-form, as he was prior to his injury, Mitroglou will have to prove his fitness, prove he is sharp, and that he is worth buying. The step up from the Greek Superleague to the English Premier League is a big one, and Arsene Wenger is going to want to be absolutely sure.
If he was a strong option, then Arsenal will now have to look into other plans, and by time January arrives, Mitroglou's name will likely be well down the list.
We wouldn't rule out his transfer completely, but having looked like a really strong possibility early on Thursday, suddenly it has taken a huge step in the opposite direction.
image: © wjarrettc