Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has explained his decision to sign Kim Kallstrom despite the midfielder carrying an injury.
January transfer window was pretty underwhelming for the Gunners to say the least. With Arsenal being in a strong position to challenge for the League and end their trophy drought, they were expected to strengthen in this window in order to sustain their challenge. But despite the need for a new striker, Arsenal’s only signing in January was Kim Kallstrom on loan from Spartak Moscow.
While the addition of a midfielder made sense given the recent injuries the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have faced, along with Flamini’s suspension, the fact that Arsenal signed a 31-year-old who was carrying an injury seemed baffling to say the least. It was revealed that Kallstrom will miss the next six games for the Gunners with a back injury he picked up during Spartak Moscow’s preseason tour at Abu Dhabi.
Arsene Wenger has now explained why he has signed an injured midfielder and disclosed that Spartak Moscow will pay his wages for the time frame in which he remains at the side line.
“The earliest he could be available would be the end of February and the latest would be mid-March.
“We have to establish the real truth about this story. He arrived here and fell on his back two days before.
“First of all it’s very difficult to identify a player, who can come in, of that stature and then we made a medical (check) of his back and we found out he had a little micro-fracture.
“We have all played with micro-fractures.
“Then Spartak Moscow accepted to share the costs – as long as he’s injured they will pay – and we had a decision to make.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Wenger also accepted that the option to pull out of the deal did cross his mind once they learned about his injury, but insisted that it was already too late to look for a replacement in the market at that point.
“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.
“I decided to do it because we might, because of the number of games we have now in February, 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.
“We could have gone without, but first of all you must identify a player who has the quality to play for us in January.
“Then, because we have the number of players needed in that area, [they have to be] not locked in a deal of three or four years, where you pay the players to do nothing.
“So to find a player on a free loan, of that quality, on Wednesday morning until Friday night, is not easy.” – Wenger added.
The Frenchman did agree that this decision could back fire as well, but insisted that it was important to add more depth to the midfield as they head towards the closing stages of the season.
“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 and it can happen that a few of them miss the next part [of the season] together.” – He explained.
Wenger also said that the he or the club are not against spending big money in the transfer window, but they had to wait till the start of the next season to make any changes to the squad.
“We are not against spending, but at the moment we are focused on the second part of the season, and at the end of the season we will see what we will do.
“You have announced a lot of transfers in your papers that have not happened, in many places, that means it is not as easy as it looks, even with money, to buy the right players in that period.” – Wenger told the press.