This time last year, according to the English press, Arsene Wenger decided against the loaning of Napoli striker Eduardo Vargas.
The 24-year-old Chilean was the star player for his native Universidad de Chile when they embarked on a whole season undefeated in both the national league and the Copa Sudamerica.
The coveted striker was wanted by a host of European clubs, with Napoli piping Chelsea to his signature, finalising the £11.5m transfer in the 2012 January transfer window.
On his European debut in the Europa League the following month, Vargas stared and scored three goals against AIK, becoming the first Chilean to score a hat-trick in a European continental competition.
Things didn’t quite live up to that first month in Naples, Eduardo Vargas found himself out of the picture at times and subsequently was sent back to South America on the 17th January 2013, ten days after Arsene Wenger had reportedly turned down the opportunity to take the player on a six month loan deal.
Fast forward one year and Arsenal are in the midst of an injury crisis, with recognized strikers Walcott, Giroud and Bendtner all out on the sidelines. With the Gunners currently topping the Premier league table, they simply have to bring in a new striker. How Arsene Wenger wishes now that Napoli would offer him the same opportunity.
In fact, should the table-toppers ask Napoli about the player, they might actually be too late. According to Spanish press, new Valencia boss Juan Antonio Pizzi has confirmed his doubts over his striking options, and listing Eduardo Vargas as a possible January transfer.
“With the squad we have, where we’re lacking most is in attack. It’s not easy to find the right players in the middle of the season, but we don’t have enough players in these positions. It’s an area in which we could improve.”
“It’s not easy to find players who can unsettle opponents so well and we already know of Vargas, who needs to compete so he can go to the World Cup and will be looking for solutions if he’s not playing. Now it seems he’s doing that more and we’ll have to see in what conditions he can be considered as a good reinforcement.”
Is Eduardo Vargas still a possibility for Arsenal?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald