Latest Transfer News – Arshavin on the rocks, Eboue thinks about Inter and More Yaya Toure…

So the somewhat on / off story which is Anderi Arshavin continues today with his agent refuting earlier suggestions that we were in negotiations with the player. In yesterday’s blog and comments, the reaction to a possible transfer for Arshavin was interesting. Many people were in favour of the transfer, many people couldn’t see the value of the signing.

The main reasons why signing Arshavin isn’t the best move in the world is because we need a player or two right now. We need someone to replace Rosicky, Cesc, Flamini and Walcott who are all injured or departed. Our current mifield is Diaby – Nasri – Denilson – Eboue and it’s not a title winning or top 4 finish midfield in my opinion.

The diminutive Russian is a little slight compared to other people in this league and that’s one of the principle reasons Modric didn’t sign for us last year or the year before. Arsene didn’t think he was up to the task. Another interesting piece of information is when asked about Arshavin in summer, Arsene said that he didn’t have the stamina to make it in the Premier league – do you remember that story? So why the sudden u-turn from Arsene?

Here’s a recap:

“That Arshavin is a top-level talent is beyond doubt. The only issue is related to the fact that the leading leagues in the world mean you must be at the highest level of physical readiness throughout the season.”

“Can he show his full potential every three days that happens every season the same in England and Spain? “In the semi-final meeting with the Spaniards, in which Arshavin looked to be exhausted, has forced me to ask this question.”

Yes, indeed, this quote from direct from Arsene. Unless Arsene is happy to play him only in the cup or on weekends. But if this is the case, it raises the question of whether he’s worth the money… £12m, £15m or £20m…

But in an interesting twist and contrary to yesterday’s reports, apparently, we’re not in negotiations. Arshavin’s agent was quoted todaya as saying:

“There is no news, no negotiations yet. I represent the player and I can assure you I would know if something had been discussed.”

And his agent also went on to say that it’s Zenit, the club themselves who are trying to sell Arshavin as well as raise his price. A tactic which has seen no-one buy him despite interest from Sp*rs, Barcelona and other clubs in the summer.

“It is the people of Zenit trying to initiate some kind of interest. They are trying to use the media to make the price of Arshavin £20million – I would not take it seriously.”

I really Arsene has a few other targets up his sleeve. Yes, Arshavin could strengthen our squad. Having him in our midfield instead of Eboue is surely a good thing – but is this the real weakness in our squad. In summer and January, we’ve let Diarra, Gilberto and Flamini leave the club, is Arsene sure we don’t need another defensive midfielder to come in to a squad that boasts no defensive midfielders. In my eyes, Diaby, Denilson, Ramsey and Cesc are all offensive. Song is a defender… so apart from playing people out of their position, we really don’t have a single DM at the club.

And Ramsey is a player who does have a great future, no doubt, but he’s not a defensive midfielder, and he will play in the Cesc position a few times from now until the end of the season, but he is only 18 and we can’t think for one minute he is the answer to all the problems…

Arsene thinks he can play in some games, which raises a thought about who will play in the other without the four aforementioned players…

“He’s just 18 and Wilshere is just 17. The Premier League is [the] Premier League and you need to be a man in this League.  He can play in some games. But if you’re asking me if he can play every week, every three days, I don’t think he’s ready yet. But he shows that he has the quality, that he can do it soon.  I really think he will be a great player.”

Onto a few other rumours. Eboue has commented on the Inter Milan link – somehow I don’t see Jose Mourinho signing Eboue – but nevertheless, on a free, it could happen.

Eboue said this on the matter:

“I have been linked with Inter before, but at the moment I am happy at Arsenal.”

Good on you son. Although if Inter came in and ask us for an Eboue – Cambiasso swap, what would you say?

And another link to Yaya Toure and another story about Yaya telling us how he came to the club years ago and didn’t sign…

Til tomorrow…]]>

  • Fo

    < ![CDATA[Very good points Dev!

    It has confused me a hell of a lot now - we do need new players - but who? where? argh!]]>

  • devday

    Well, I do think we need someone strong – a warrier in midfield. A marshall. A leader. Someone like Paddy or Flamini. We need to use Carlos Vela more. He’s a good player. We need to get Eduardo back into the first team and never play Bendtner again.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[I'm always dubious when people get excited about age - how old was Cesc against Real Madrid and AC Milan (two ties we didn't expect to win).... I'm not saying Ramsey is the same, but I do worry we have a squad of Tweenies and are scared to play them.

    One thing I mentioned before - does anybody else think it'd be good to see Toure as DM? It was his position when he came to the club after all.... he has pace, reads the game....]]>

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Good call Kieran, with what's going on with Toure being pushed out of defence, he could be an ideal candidate for midfield. We've played a few games with Gallas and Djourou at the back and Toure on the bench - I know he's got some niggling injuries, but this positional change could be a revelation.

    One thing that comes to mind is when Toure was playing right back at the end of last season - Arsene often took him off for the last 20 minutes and he did mention once or twice that he may not be able to last a full 90 at right back - which is the only reason I can see him not being moved into defensive midfield.

    It's definitely worth a try in my eyes - I can't recall Arsene trying it in pre-season.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Indeed – coupled with the fact that Song doesn’t read the game as well, goes to ground too often and doesn’t have electric pace yet if I was going to play any of the defense in midfield it would be Toure every time.

  • debs

    Good one Kieran, playing Toure as a DM. Considering that Wenger likes to play ppl in alternative positions, it’s surprising he hasn’t thought of that yet. We don’t have any DMs, and we sort of have a spare defender (when they’re all fit) so why not give it a go? If it works, Toure’ll be able to play more, we’ll have a better defence, and everyone’s happy-ish (we should still get a real DM!). There’s no harm in trying, as there’s every possibility it’d work- Toure isn’t prone to going forward all the time anyways, seeing as he’s been playing as a defender for ages, so having him sit in front of the back four shouldn’t be too hard. I guess this might be the best time to give it a go cos if it doesn’t work out, we’d know sooner rather than later and Mr Wenger can go buy himself a proper DM. Plus, if we eventually get a DM, Toure could always be back up in case of injury or suspension. But maybe the reason Wenger hasn’t tried it I because he knows of some special reason why it’d not work? I dunno, but it’s a good call though!

  • Berth

    < ![CDATA[Toure is way off the league for a DMF position. I would rather play Song than any member of the team in our DMF position.

    From what I ve seen in the team, no one can better song. As for Arshavin, I think his worth being in the team. People talk about his age , but it doesnt really matter. I belief he can adapt to the league if Nasiri can.
    That guy is dam too good.]]>

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[I think we could afford to sign one 27 year old to bring a bit of experience and quality to the squad. God knows we have enough talented youth and potential resale value already.

    The news is probably a bit hyped up, but its good to see that we are looking at the player seriously after the summer excitment has died down. I think we all know Wenger will not pay £20m for anyone, but if he could knock them down to £12m then I think it would be a decent buy.

    I agree that a DMF seems to be a more urgent need. You can't play football in the modern day without one and if you want to win top trophies you need a good one.

    If we sign Arshavin he would have to compete for a place against Walcott, Rosicky, Nasri, Cesc, Diaby and Eboue when they are all fit. Then their is the doubt about whether he could adapt quickly or even at all, although I'm fairly confident he would prove his doubters wrong.

    If we signed Alonso, Barry or Aquillani they could probably walk straight into the first team after showing marginally more class than Song. I'm not saying any of these players would necessarily be a good signing but a mid-twenties international level DMF for less than £10m would add some great value to the team.

    Oh, and I can't beleive we are hearing that Toure might leave. I personally have always rated him and would have had him as captain over Gallas after Henry left. If he leaves and Silvestre continues to be old and mediocre then we have to sign a long term replacement soon (just like we didn't after Veira, Henry and Flamini).]]>

  • joel t

    < ![CDATA[I think the confusion surrounding what Arshavin's agent has said isn't actually that confusing. He said that he isn't in discussions with Arsenal, he has also said something along the lines of "When I get the call from Zenit saying a deal has been done, I will come over and talk about personal negotiations". So basically, when his agent says
    "There is no news, no negotiations yet. I represent the player and I can assure you I would know if something had been discussed"
    I think he is relating to a personal agreement for the player. I think negotiations are still continuing between the two clubs for the price of him and then the agent will get involved.

    On a broader note, should we sign him, I believe he will be a decent aqusition. Time and time again we hear foreign players moaning about the weather etc, well...he's Russian, so that won't be a problem! Your point about his slight frame and comparison with Modric was a little unfair. While Arshavin maybe not be very small, he is more compact than Modric who looks quite slight in frame. His build reminds me of Nasri, and from what I have seen so far, he has been more than capable of dealing with the physical nature of the league. Moreover, when we question whether we need him...yes, I believe so. There is a obvious lack of creativity missing from midfield and although Nasri and RvP are doing well to create chances, we are missing the penetration of Walcott and Rosicky...and Hleb!

    However, £20 million for a player soon to be 28 does sound a little steep...especially when he has only played in one league. Yes he has a great Euro 2008, but how many players have had good tournaments, been signed on the basis of that and then failed to deal with the Premier League week in, week out? A figure closer to 12-15 million would sound more reasonable to me.

    Many people believe we need a defensive midfielder. A real powerhouse to control the centre of the park. However, as the season has progressed I believe that Denilson, Song or Diaby can fit that role quite well. Flamini never set the world alight in his first few seasons and look at his impact last year?! Therefore, whilst those guys improve in that position, I think it is imperitive to buy a new CB. I really like Gallas as a player, and when at his best, he is definately our best CB. Djourou has impressed me recently but he hasn't faced enough quality opposition for me. Continuing the CB discussion, Kolo hasn't been the same player since his malaria infection in the summer. He has always been clumsy and has given away many silly free-kicks and penaltys (CL semi?? we can moan about it all we want...but if that was Theo being knocked over, we would have cried for a penalty). Therefore, if Kolo wants to stay, then great, he is good back up. But if he is desperate to go, get an inflated price out of Man City and use it to buy someone else. Try and keep Gallas until the summer and if we has had enough, replace him too with revenue for qualifying for the CL! (fingers crossed on that one!!!)

    Well...thats a brief summary of my thoughts for the Jan window. I read this article every day but usually don't comment because I know I find it stop after i get going and most people won't bother reading it all. However, if you;ve got this far, feel free to raise any issues and I might start doing a weekly comment....in response to Dev's great articles!]]>

  • joel t

    < ![CDATA[apologies for a couple of mistakes:

    While Arshavin maybe not be very small, he is more compact than Modric who looks quite slight in frame.

    should be "While Arshavin maybe not be very tall*, he is more compact than Modric who looks quite slight in frame."

    Try and keep Gallas until the summer and if we has had enough, replace him too with revenue for qualifying for the CL! (fingers crossed on that one!!!)

    should be "Try and keep Gallas until the summer and if he* has had enough, replace him too with revenue for qualifying for the CL! (fingers crossed on that one!!!)"]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[outgoing gossip:

    Barca are planning to bid 45m for Cesc and RVP and Inter have added Diaby to their list of targets.

    Not sure how likely this is but I wouldn't put it past Barca as it's a regular occurance with Cesc]]>

  • buxton

    I see the question of overpriced english players has appeared again. What about the price of Lennon and Robinson? £1m each for players who were not exactly rubbish? Its very easy to say British players are over priced but you are talking about the highlighted few such as Bent which nobody can understand but if you look at their policy at the time you would get it. What surprises me is that people somehow manage to adopt and tow the Arsenal line on pricing. Tell me, are Arsenal doing so well that we can dictate the pricing policy for the world to follow? I don’t think so in fact it could be said that our penny pinching ways have seen us drop dramatically from grace. The other point is that revenue has upped hugely from year to year n the EPL and this reflects in the pricing it seems that only Arsenal fans and the board do not seem to have managed to grasp this. How long can Arsenal fans continue to live in the past or more importantly accept a board that lives in the past.I would have thought it was obvious that when you are buying players within the wealthiest league in the world they are going to cost more money. The clubs have expectations and want to get the best return. It happens believe it or not that the majority of English players play in England, the EPL is the most expensive and wealthiest league therefore this reflects in the players cost. Values are relative to the club and league they are in. So if Arshavin costs £20m then he is completely over priced but even at £15m he is to. I doubt relatively he is worth any more than £10m so should we sign him will people be saying he is overpriced? The whole English player price thing to me is an ill thought out bandwagon that quite simply allows teams or boards like Arsenal’s to get away with more profiteering.

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Yeah...i remember mentioneing K.Toure in the DM role some weeks ago...and like a lot of y'all, think it is worth a go. I do think that even though there has been some drama in the dressing room, he should get a chance there. It will show that AW still has confidence in him; and that would give him a confidence boost. If he feels wanted by AW it can do only good for us because Kolo plays with his heart and gives his all every single time. He's the last member of the invinsibles, so he knows how to win and his experience will be invaluable. And I do think that he has a decent passing game. I'd imagine he won't be that match fit at the mo but even if it isn't all 90 mins, i'd give it a go. I don't think Arsene tried it in pre-season but after the stuff that has been happening behind the scenes, it would be good for everyone. Oh yeah...and even tho having a great shot isn't a primary attribute of a DM, Kolo has a good low shot. Just don't get the feeling Arsene will go down this avenue...but i'd want to see it if no DM comes in during the window.

    As for that gossip with Barca...i hope not...i don't think it is true...hopefully the same goes for Diaby. Eboue is the only player i'm not overly bothered about to be honest. Once we replace him. And that Arshavin deal seems to be imminent regardless of the difference in valuation. We've got to keep this squad together no matter what...players like Kolo are leaders...warriors... and actually over 25 yrs of age! I hope Arsene can do it.]]>

  • Fo

    < ![CDATA[I think players like Ramsey, Denilson, Nasri etc will be world class, we've got to stick with them and let them flourish.

    I don't want Arshavin. I'd rather have had SWP or Krankjar and half the price!]]>

  • jeffvip

    Wenger theory influence us too… lol. Arsenal fans is different compare to other clubs fan bcos we need to think about saving too… This is interesting… I never see fans from the other FC wanna get a cheaper player like what Arsenal fans usually do. No doubt, I admit I’m also one of the many Arsenal’s fans hit hard by Wenger Money Saving Theory.

  • Fabrez

    lol I agree jeffvip. We do think along those lines because even though it is very frustrating at times, we kind of appreciate the fact that Arsenal do want to be & stay in a good financial position (especially in this economical climate). Also, when we do dip, it helps us not to drop leagues…for all we know, in a few years, one of the other members of the big for will be in a relegation fight…sounds ludicrous now but it has happened to sides in the past! We may not have over the top glory this year but it could be a whole lot worse i guess.