Are these quotes from Wenger proof that Kallstrom was a panic buy?

Arsenal boss admits he only entered the market for a midfielder late, when it became apparent Ramsey would be out for a further six weeks.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger only considered a midfield recruit when it became apparent he would be without influential box-to-boxer Aaron Ramsey for the next six weeks and admitted that he may not have sealed the temporary deal that brought Kim Kallstrom to the Emirates Stadium from Spartak Moscow if he had more time to act rather than the three days he was presented with at the tail-end of the mid-season transfer window.

This, while the pressing need for a striker in order to assist Olivier Giroud in the goal-scoring department went unfulfilled, despite an obvious attempt to ink a big-money contract for Schalke 04 superkid Julian Draxler.

As it turns out, the transfer business conducted by Wenger has not been exempt from criticism as the Frenchman brought in injured personnel - Kallstrom has a microfracture back complaint and could be out of action for the same amount of time as Ramsey is, the player he was supposed to provide cover for.

When probed as to whether he contemplated canceling the deal, Wenger told the club's official website: 'Yes of course it crossed my mind.

'I would not have signed him if we had two or three more days to do something, but it was Friday night at five o'clock, so it was [a case of] you [sign] nobody or you do it under these conditions,' he noted, with the possible inference being that this rushed deal had it's foundations on panic.

However, Wenger added: 'I decided to do it because we might, because of the number of games we have now in February, we might need the players in March or April. There is a possibility [that he may not play] but as well there is the possibility that he scores us the winning goal that might be vitally important.'

Ultimately, Wenger - like all managers active in the January market - can only be judged on the performance of their recruits at the season's end: 'At some stage in our job you have to make a decision. Are you wrong or right? You will only know at the end of the season.

'I made this decision because, since the start of the season, all our central midfielders have missed a part of the season - whether it's Flamini, Wilshere, Arteta, Chamberlain or Cazorla. All of them have had injuries and it can happen that a few of them miss the next part [of the season] together. It's true that in the first four to six weeks we have not sorted that problem out.'

Bringing in an extra pair of legs in the mid-season window when they won't even be able to be used until March (at the earliest) and expecting it to reap results may not have been the well thought out plan Arsenal fans had been hoping for with all the bountiful rumours linking Wenger to Draxler and, even if Kallstrom has recovered from his back complaint by mid-March, he will not be match fit until April, leaving Wenger with just six Premier League matches he could be available to feature in.

But, with Ramsey back by then, would Kallstrom even get in the squad?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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