Reports today suggest that Arsene Wenger has confirmed through his various commentating roles at Euro 2008 that he's signed Nasri, although still not officially confirmed by the club. Additionally, as we all found out yesterday, Aaron Ramsey has decided to sign for the club. Finally, we've definitely got Carlos Vela coming back to the club for pre-season training.
So, with the additions of Nasri, Ramsey and Vela, what does that bring to the squad... time to analyse.
Carlos Vela is a striker who can also play on either wing. His appearances so far for Osasuna and Salamanca have been up front or on the left wing. He’s also started as a striker for Mexico, so will be able to give us an option on the left as well as another striking option.
Our chief scout, Steve Rowley, who has been instrumental on bringing Vela to the club, has recently spoken about the young Mexican and has compared to Arsenal legend, Dennis Bergkamp. Rowley spoke in official Arsenal’s magazine and said:
He is very quick, explosive, not very tall but has great technique and very good vision. He can play either as a second striker or wide on the left or right. He’s got good stamina as well, certainly one to look out for next season.
And previously, Arsene has also said he sees him as a striker, in the mould of Eduardo rather than a winger. With Arsene also seeing young Theo as a main striker, in 5 years, we could be seeing more of a Vela, Walcott combo… With Van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Eduardo and Nicklas Bendtner all existing options up front, next season could see us with 6 strikers, if all fit. With so many striking options, it is very possible that we will see players such as Walcott, Vela, Van Persie and Eduardo deputising on the wings.
Talking about wingers, Arsene’s potential new signing, Aaron Ramsey, will add options to our wing play. He is a Welsh youth international who has been compared to long serving Man U winger, Ryan Giggs, who every Arsenal fan will realise has been a great player for our arch rivals.
Ramsey has spoken on his potential move to Arsenal, saying he had a “gut feeling” and sees a bright future ahead at Arsenal. An assurance from Arsene Wenger that he wouldn’t be loaned back to Cardiff and would feature in the first team squad. Ramsey has played on the left and right of midfield for Cardiff, has the ability to dribble, can pass well and has ideas – he is a player very much in the Arsenal mould.
Steve Claridge gave us his opinion on the player:
The thing that leaps out at you from his game is his appreciation of a pass. It was second to none. When a team-mate received the ball from him, the pass almost told him where his opponent was. It had all the information on it that you would need and it was, invariably, the right ball.
He has a sixth sense telling him where his opponents are. This was reflected in his first touch and the placement of his body, which meant that even when opponents doubled up on him, he managed to escape unscathed from tight areas.
One thing which is apparent, however, is that he has played many games in central midfield and scouting reports also suggest he drifts in when he plays on the wing. Something reminiscent of Pires, Ljunberg, Hleb and Rosicky. I hope he also has the ability to get to the byline for a role back and stay out wide when necessary. He does look like an exciting player, he’s young, fulfills the homegrown criteria and would be a better option than a player like Eboue. Young Theo is starting to show why Arsene paid a down payment of £5m for him all those years ago, and it’s unlikely that Arsene would have repeated purchasing from the lower leagues unless he thought Ramsey would go on to be a big talent.
Samir Nasri is another midfielder who should be joining us, well according to Issa Traorè, a French speaking agent who represents Didier Drogba among other French and former French-based players such as Jeremy Menez and France’s new striker, Gomis, both players whom have been linked with us in the past. He’s been speaking in Italy and says the deal is a done deal and Samir Nasri will play for us next season.
In addition to this, Arsene Wenger has reportedly admitted the signing on Arabic TV channcel Al Jazeera whom he is also commentating for at the Euro 2008 championships.
Nasri has played a few games for France and pre-season, he started on the wings. He’s a player who has often drifted centrally too, but can go out wide and stay out wide. He’s got a good shot as well as a bit of “va va voom”. Definitely a player who can change a game. We saw in France’s opening game that he was brought in as a second striker, so he is obviously a versatile player.
With these three boys all but confirmed (except Vela of course who 100% an Arsenal player), we’ve now got many options that we didn’t have last season…
Squad For Next Season
The squad for next season is already starting to take shape and here is a quick overview of players and positions:
Strikeforce: Van Persie, Adebayor, Bendtner, Eduardo, Vela, Walcott
Wingers: Rosicky, Vela, Walcott, Eduardo, Nasri, Ramsey, maybe Hleb, oops I nearly forgot Eboue
Central midfield: Denilson, Diaby, Fabregas, Gilberto, Coquelin
Defence: Clichy, Traore, Senderos, Djourou, Song, Gallas, Toure, Sagna, Eboue, Hoyte
Goalkeepers: Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone
The only area that is short on numbers is surely central midfield, so that looks like the next area for Arsene to strengthen. Coquelin is 17 and a raw talent, so I’m not sure if he’ll feature in the first team.
In addition to the first team squad, Merida, Wilshire, Simpson and other youngsters will step up to our reserve and carling cup squad, so we’re immediately strengthened in reserve too.
Reports have linked us with David Villa, but looking at the squad, where would he fit in? I don’t think we’ll invest in any more attackers.
Good news from all Eduardo camps is that he could be be back for pre-season training. It’ll feel like a new signing!
By the time I’ve finished writing this, the Turkey vs Switzerland game has just finished, thank God for BBC 1 web site streaming and Turkey have claimed all 3 points in a mildly exciting game which finished 2-1 to the “away side” and sees Switzerland the first team out of the tournament.
Have a good evening or good morning, til tomorrow!]]>