Xabi & Cesc

So, the transfer window is officially exactly 1 month away – it will open on the 1st July and close on the 31st August – but that won’t stop the speculation or indeed stop clubs actually agreeing transfers, so in reality – the transfer window is now open!

Cesc has recently spoke about transfers and about Arsene knowing who to bring in. He’s specifically mentioned Xabi Alonso and we all know that they are good mates. Apparently they go bowling together and sometimes eat sushi together, so it’s no surprise that the Arsenal captain has suggested his international team mate.

Cesc said this:

“We have lost big players, but the boss knows what he is doing. The days of signing a new player aren’t finished. We need someone in the middle to make competition and make a difference, plus give us a new dimension. I think that is all we need. The rest is perfect. Xabi would be great. He’s experienced and can score goals. I’m sure the boss is aware of that fact.”

Of course, the question is whether we need Xabi Alonso and in reality will he solve the problems that our team have at the moment. We play a very expansive game and the areas we lack are in height and strength. It is interesting to see Cesc saying that Xabi would be good, but in reality, Cesc and Xabi wouldn’t be defensive enough to hold a midfield together. At Liverpool, Xabi has either Mascherano or Lucas behind him, so can afford to sit in the middle of the park and distribute balls as well as get forward and have a shot or two.

Looking closer at the quote – it does baffle me – as Cesc says he requires a player who will give the team a new dimension – but I fail to see how Xabi Alonso will give us a new dimension. Surely he’ll give us already what we have with Cesc, Denilson and even Nasri, who can all play in midfield along side a more orthodox defensive midfielder.

He also says, “I think that’s all we need, the rest is perfect” – I’m not too sure – what he is saying is probably that we have enough strength on the wings. It’s clear by saying this, he’s also basically stating that he needs a partner. He doesn’t feel he has a partner of the right stature and that’s an interesting fact. Personally, looking back at the previous season, when the Spaniard played alongside Flamini, it seemed to work well. Flamini wasn’t a tall and strong lad – he was more of a high work rate and good tackler time of player – he was one of the annoying playing in Pro Evo who doesn’t seem to give you space or time to do anything.

But do we need Flamini back? No, because firstly it was a kind of one season wonder – he’s not been able to repeat / sustain that level at Milan – and secondly no, because with him next to Cesc, we still didn’t win anything. So, looking at Xabi Alonso – will he bring us that? I’m not convinced. But Cesc and Alonso are friends and also can play good football together. You see at Barca, with Iniesta and Xavi playing together that it can work, but only in a 4-3-3 formation where the two midfielders in front of the defensive one are attacking – so unless we change our formation and style of play, it’s unlikely that we’ll need Xabi in our team. And if we wanted to go hell over crook and change to a 4-3-3, then players like Nasri or Denilson will be quite suited to this role.

So, this article goes full circle, and goes back to the question – who do we need? In Alex Song, Denilson and even Diaby, we have players who can play next to Cesc, and players who have all grown this season and will be better players next. Unless we sign something different, then there isn’t a point in signing much of the same – and the something different is a 6 foot 6 inches, tall, strong, aggressive tackler – not Alonso, not Barry – but more like Yaya Toure, Lorik Cana or the likes.

I’m very keen on signing someone with strength and character, a winner, a never say die attitude – and the players that have come to mind are players like Gary Cahill and Brede Hangeland, both whom have come out and said they don’t want to leave their respective clubs.

More later on the rest of the world of Arsenal…

In the meantime, what do you think? Xabi at Arsenal?

[Update] Just as I write this, Guillam Balague has been speaking about Xabi to Real…

“Xabi Alonso is a definite Real Madrid target and Rafa Benitez is aware of that fact. After 5 years at Anfield, the player could be feeling that now is the right time to return to Spain, plus Benitez could certainly make use of the €25 million or so he will receive for Alonso in the transfer market this summer. There is still much work to be done, but if it were to happen, I am under the impression that this deal could be concluded relatively quickly and be finalized within the next three weeks or so.”

Believe Guillam at your peril!

  • Fo

    Personally, I’d love Xabi Alonso at the club – he’s a good model professional – a big name player and has the desire to win – but at £25m, I’d say no thanks! For that kind of money – I’d prefer Yaya Toure and Hangeland!!!!

  • James Knight

    I don’t agree with Cesc – I don’t think Xabi Alonso is at all the player we need. In fact, completely the wrong player!

  • Pete

    He’s definately a good player, but he doesn’t suit the positions we need to strengthen. The only way I see Alonso coming to Arsenal is if we’re considering replacing a creative central midfielder, which we don’t need to do.

    Personally, I’m still hoping for Lorik Cana to be signed as I feel a defending midfielder is the priority, and his former partnership with Nasri at Marseille could be transfered over to the Arsenal midfield. I’d still like a centreback too, but at the moment Toure, Gallas, Djourou, Silvestre and even Song can play that role, whereas only Song and Denilson are our effective DM.

    Cant wait for the transfers to get going :D

  • AJ

    He’d be a great player to have, but I agree, not what we need and not for the price tag being touted around. I am hoping Wenger buys one DM and one center back atleast. As for what Fo said about Yaya Toure, he won’t join us, that chance has come and gone for the moment. Also I think this is true, Miguel Veloso’s contract at Sporting finishes next year and he has already stated he wants to play in a better league, so he could be available at a knock down price, wouldn’t mind seeing him at the club.

  • Fo

    You’re right Ajay, I don’t think Yaya Toure will join us! But Lorik Cana is a good call – definitely what we need!

  • Arsefan101

    Pete – what did you win?

  • devday

    The winners haven’t been contacted yet! But the main winner has won the DVD!

  • herbertchapman

    whats with the constant comp update; plus xabi would be a very good foil for cesc, no not the most defensive player but look how much song has come on this season, he will grow to be a giant in midfield.

  • devday

    Indeed, Song is young and actually despite our frailties this season, I actually do see a great future for Song and Denilson at the Grove. A little bit experience will aid them next season and make them superstars!

  • Berth

    Dev if you start sounding that way I bet you Wenger will consider getting players as waste of time. We shouldn’t dare talk of how Song and Denilson has come of age; we should focus more on whom to buy to beef the DMF and CD positions. Do not underestimate the power of words, Dev or more so do not underestimate WOA.

  • devday

    Alonso versus Denilson stats:

    Appearances: Denilson (37), Alonso (33)
    Tackles Won: Denilson (103), Alonso (62)
    Tackles Lost: Denilson (28), Alonso (27)
    Goals Scored: Denilson (3), Alonso (3)
    Goals Assisted: Denilson (7), Alonso (4)
    Total/Accurate Passes: Denilson 89%, Alonso 83%

    I’m sure Arsene will be aware of these stats and that’s why I’m sure we won’t be signing the Spaniard.

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    Dev, spot on. Denilson is an excellent player. Alonso stands out because he sits behind Gerrard and in front of Carragher. But Denilson has played incredibly well this season – sometimes it’s easy to take players for granted.

  • Yemi

    For 25m, I say no to alonso.
    We need a CB(tall and good in the air and fast) and a DM(strong, fast and brutal).
    I think what is left for denilson is his tackling and positioning

  • Yemi

    Great site dev, but i want to make an observation, We dont have email notifications any longer when someone else posts a comment. was that taken out ?

  • mesol

    Bring in Mahamadou Diarra from Real Madrid..he’s tall and strong…good DM for our team