Big Update: Van Persie, Melo, Bassong, Cesc & More

It’s Thursday today and we’ve had a couple of days of pre-season training under our belts, with some really good news that Rosicky, Eduardo and Gallas are all back in training and raring to go… some quotes recirculating the net and the papers from last season again but all in all, the player is back and he’ll make a considerable difference this season if he is available.

A new quote, I think is this:

“I am missing the competition. Playing alongside Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott makes you feel comfortable and I think that I will quickly forget that I have been out for a while. Now that I have recovered, I am a new option for the manager. We have a strong team capable of moving mountains in all competitions.”

Myself and the famous Bob play Masters League in Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 on The Playstation 3… and we try our best to keep it Arsenal, play the Arsenal way and follow Arsene’s policy. I’ll tell you something right now… Tomas Rosicky is our best player in our team – he assists so much, scores from long range and has immense dribbling ability – when we play the game, it really does highlight what we’ve been missing. Couple that with the left foot of Eduardo whose finishing is also categorised as immense, and we’re onto a winner with those players back, no doubt.

The players we have added, were 3 seventeen year olds, a defender, a central midfielder and a winger, and on top of that we traded Bendtner for a player called Gouffran (who seems to score every game), Armand Traore for Vanden Borre and more recently we managed to trade Hoyte + Cash for Agbonlahor (we’re in mid season now) so pretty much not outside of the Arsenal way – we have tried several times to get Arshavin but the player is way too loyal in the game…! And we’ve refused to be lured in attempts to purchase players like Kaka, Robinho, Ronaldo etc…

Anyway back to the wonderful world of real Arsenal, and as you may or may not know, Van Persie has been speaking about his new contract and had this to say:

“I’m so happy to have signed a new long term contract. I’ve been at the Club for five years now and there really is a great feeling here at Arsenal. We have a top class manager, a squad full of superb young players, a world class stadium and brilliant supporters. Arsenal Football Club has a very bright future and I want to be part of it. My heart is with Arsenal and I just can’t picture myself in a different shirt. I just can’t see it now because I love this Club so much. If you look at the last five years, look at the steps I have made every season, if you look at the support the Boss and the whole Club gave me, the fans gave me, my team mates gave me – this is the right decision.”

A player like RVP epitomises what Arsenal is all about. We signed him back in the day for £2.5m if I am correct as a young player and developed him as we do our younger players – he’s had the chance to train and learn from Arsenal legends such as Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry and I believe he is really at home at the Emirates. If you’ve read the recent interview with Robin in the official Arsenal magazine, you’ll have heard how he has really changed from a “bad boy” to a perfect gentleman in respect to his life off the pitch and that makes a big difference to your game.

Arsene was, of course, delighted that Robin has extended his contract, saying:

“It’s fantastic news that Robin has committed his long term future to Arsenal Football Club, we’re all delighted. Robin is a hugely gifted player and has the talent and goalscoring ability to win matches at the very top level. We have already seen many times what Robin is capable of on a football pitch, but at only 25, there is still much more to come from him. Robin has the potential to become a true Arsenal great.”

It’s clear that there is more to come from the Dutchman and by commiting his future to the club, we’re going to see a lot more from him as we look to win our first trophy in quite some time next season.

And in a recent statement by  Ivan Gazidis, he has outlined the focus of securing existing players on long term contract, a la Van Persie instead of splashing out and not really being able to afford it.

The Board decided not to issue permanent capital in the hopes of signing one or two players in an inflated transfer market. Instead, the focus continues to be on securing the services of talented young players we have on long-term contracts and making very selective acquisitions, only where a new signing will add real value to our already strong squad.

Although some newspapers report this as “Wenger Robbed of £60m”, in actual fact, nothing has really changed. We had £14m to spend, we spent £8.5m on Vermaelen, we now have £5.5m left. I believe Arsene had in mind that there may have been extra money coming in from Adebayor or Senderos, neither of which seems to have materialised. The discussions with Fiorentina on a Melo deal will only work if they accept Eboue and around about the £5.5m which is the rest of our budget… a little less than Juventus, but that deal also looks like it’s on the rocks. Apparently Juventus had a cash + player deal accepted, but the player in question, Italian winger Marco Marchionni, has not been able to agree personal terms…

“Unfortunately, nothing will be done. We only asked for €200,000 (£173,000) more than the amount Marco earns at Juventus, but Fiorentina wouldn’t agree. It’s a pity.”

Good for us, and will this whole thing end up with Melo coming to Arsenal?

Finally, Newcastle defender Bassong confirms we did bid for the player – maybe before the signing of Vermaelen and Messi has been in the press talking about bringing Cesc to the Nou Camp this summer… neither likely to happen!

More tomorrow…

  • fan

    Melo to Juve is official (ESPN). A player + 21mil quite alot. I don’t think we were every close to those numbers even with eboue. Like I said last week, I think this will be the squad we will go into the season. I just wish the whole team can be healthy this year.

  • Berth


  • Berth

    For all Gazadi and Wenger’s gentlemanly approach to football transfer, if they don’t start thinking big then they should say bye bye to some of our good players;so just 5 million is what the club has for all the noise made before the transfer market began. If 5 million is the case then we are screwed.

    My Dad once told me about the story of Christopher Columbus, not the Voyage aspect but the character aspect; where he saw himself successful without having a penny; he only had a dream, thought big and saw himself big. Am not sure how much of a lesson we as Arsenal can learn from here; but the truth is that our philosophy and perception needs a bit of an icing.

  • zohaib

    This summer transfer window is starting to look more and more gloomy. The people in charge at our beloved club will play the ‘Real Madrid-ruined-our-summer, inflated-the-transfer-market’ card. Real and ManCity have given our board the excuse that they needed to not spend on reinforcements. Plus they’ll be quick to tell us that Rosicky and Eduardo are back in action.

    Maybe someone should remind them that we still have no proper partner for Fabregas in midfield. Maybe someone should remind Arsene that he once said himself in the not too distant past that we needed a DM. Maybe someone should also remind the club how we’ve fared when it comes to experienced players being constantly injured for long periods of the season for the past 4 seasons. They just don’t seem to understand. They just don’t seem to be able to make a complete squad.

    And if for some reason we still don’t make a new signing, then God help us. If we don’t make a DM signing then the only way forward that I see is a 4 – 3 – 3 with Fabregas, Nasri and Rosicky in the center and Eduardo/VanPersie, Vela/Walcott and Arshavin up front. And if this system isn’t implied, I’m afraid we’re going to have a similar season as last year or the years before that where we’re just not good enough at the final hurdle.

  • Berth

    Yeah Zohaib – I foresee the same old story; I do seriously hope we sign a player before it becomes a mess. I still can’t understand how you intend to buy a player of Melo’s quality with 5 million + some players; I heard Juv offered 21mil + . player.

    Sometimes it appears we always settle for average; the only club in the English top four that sees FA cup and Champions league semi finals a very big big deal; we really need to grow up; lets please reconsider Usmanov, if he is the only option we have.

  • zohaib

    There’s an interesting article on the Telegraph’s site about the top 50 alternative transfer targets.

    And I have to say the top 3 midfielders do look like they’d integrate well at Arsenal. I’m surprised we haven’t been linked with them. Is the media gaining a conscience ?!

  • zohaib

    What’s even more interesting is, if you scroll down, you see that Lorik Cana is worth 3 million pounds apparently !!!

  • Pete

    Cheers for the link Zohaib. Very interesting article.

    I’d have thought that Cana was worth more than the £3 million quoted in the article, being the clubs captain.

    Makes me wonder if Arsenal are still considering signing him.

  • Pete

    Breaking news: Stan Kroenke has increased his shares to 28.58%

  • Yemi

    I hope i don’t have to endure another season of jeers and taunt from friend here again. You know what they say to me? They say “Arsenal know how to start well but lack finishing” 2 seasons ago we started well in the league but could not win, last season we started well in the CL, FA and Carling cups but nothing to show for it,NOW this transfer market, we were the first to buy amongst the big four but all other clubs have overtaken us in fortifying their teams. I sure something happens to shut these critics up permanently !!!!
    A DM pleaseeeeeeeee.
    any news on ade ? i hope he wakes up and start scoring goals rather than sulk this season else he should put in a request fro transfer and move to anywhere he wishes…(my only fear is that we wont replace him

  • Yemi

    On the players back from long term injury, i hope there is no relapse. Let them feature well in the pre-season. Good news gallas is back, clichy ?. I don’t want to see silvestre in my team, i got a whole lot of CB’s better than him. Toure, gallas, vermaleen, djourou and senderos. For all you care, senderos is good in the air and quick also, his only dark spot is the once in a while goof he exibits. I think the stint in italy would have improved him as a defender as the league there is more physical !!!!

  • Yemi—Football-Transfers—Football-Rumours.html

    “AC Milan are ready to offer £20m plus former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini for striker Emmanuel Adebayor. (Mirror):

  • chris

    I’m feeling strangely optimistic about Arsenal at the moment. Almost content. Fingers crossed the media have given up on bitching about Arsenal. It’d make a change! At present it seems that they are focused on John Terry filling his wallet even more at Manchester City. I hope this rumour goes on throughout the summer. Let Chelsea be unsettled for a change. It makes me wonder though, why would John Terry want to join City? The obvious choice is money. Maybe his mother’s thieving sprees at M&S aren’t bringing in the readies as much anymore so he needs a more legit way to earn his dough. He has a 50% stake you see. Something else I’m fed up with hearing is that Chelsea were robbed against Barcelona last season. Now they know how M&S feel after Terry’s mum has been in there. As I say, long may it continue. The robbing sprees and links to City are keeping the media off our backs and it is as refreshing as that first pint after work on a Friday. Back to Arsenal I get the vibe that there is real harmony in the squad at the moment. It gives me a warm feeling inside. Not that sicky feeling when you are pissed and the room is spinning but a nice one. In recent weeks we’ve had a number of players signing new contracts and I think there is a real bond at the club at the moment. If we can keep everyone, even that useless more off-side than not tosswank Adebayor and add one or two more then we have a real chance next season. I really believe that. I look at the squad and I’m so excited. With that little extra I might even piss my pants with excitement. This summer could the most settled at Arsenal since Wenger was appointed manager. The first I can remember that I’m not shitting myself expecting one of our star players to leave. I hope it will continue and next summer I’m thinking the same!


    I agree with all you guys its like sometimes Arsene just cant see it…I think we do need outside investment…self sustainability is good but it takes too long to develop…Someone like Kroneke would be a good investor as he has a background in sports

  • Pete

    The thing is, come September, Kroenke will be allowed to buy 30% or more of the Arsenal shares, and if he does that then he’ll also be allowed to make a take-over bid for the club. So who knows, in a few months time its quite possible that Arsenal could have a new owner.

  • Berth

    Just to have a smile mates –

  • Berth
  • hello

    hello all…

    long time reader… first time writing…

    Whats all this about Valencia’s Ever Banega… look at some footage when he was at Boca and looks a great player, technical and up for a fight .

    I don’t know why but he has got me a little excited…

  • els

    Pete is that the case? hmmm sounds like it’s inevitable. I don’t know if it’s a good thing, if you think this will throw out lots of what wenger worked towards, do you think that it would make all his wheeling and dealings of the last 6 or so years seem pointless. And if so he could move on to another challenge.

    I’d rather wenger stayed and see his whole plan come good.
    I know the spin doctors are at work on the positives of last season, but we really do have the make up of a great team.

    But yes we neeeeeed a DM that can be played in the starting 11 now, we needed it more than we needed Vermaelen.

    So if we did spend that £8.5m on vermo which left us short for melo, Did we do it the wrong way around?

  • hello


  • hello

    I know its a different league, but look how mascherano has adapted…

  • els

    Anyway all this talk, I have the perfect solution BRING BACK VIEIRA. Who in the squad could argue with that, have him on a rolling contract, within a year or two he can move to coaching and song, diaby, denilson, ramsey will be stars under his influence!!!

    Vieira has supposedly been in talks with birmingham, I will cry if I see that marvelous man in any other premiership shirt.

  • hello

    I’d defo be up for a bit of VIEIRA!!

  • Pete

    From what I understand, thats what the situation is at the moment. From what I’ve read, Kroenke agreed with the board not to buy more than 29% of shares til September 2009 at the earliest. Come September, he’ll be allowed to buy 30% or more, and once you own that much of the clubs shares, you’re entitled to made a bid for the club. That doesn’t mean he definately WILL bid for it that soon though, but it does look like thats what he’s aiming towards sooner or later.

    Whats good is Kroenke seems to have a good working relationship with the rest of the board (better than Usmanov), and his track record of sports club ownership is pretty solid, so I think if, and thats a big if, he does take over eventually, then he’s an ideal candidate.

  • Debs

    As to the transfer window, we need to bear in mind that we don’t really have the full picture. Most of what we know about offers and the lot, is what is said in the media, so it should really be taken with a pinch of salt.
    Ofcourse, what would make it easier would be for the club, when the window shuts, to let the fans know what our dealings were in the window- what players we were close to signing or whatever, just to assure the fans that we were not just messing about during the window and we actually had genuine and sensible offers being made. But I’m sure that’ll never happen.

  • sampson

    If you own 30% or more, you are REQUIRED to make a bid. Lets hope he crosses 30%

  • TheSKAGooner

    Kroenke bought a further 160 shares today, taking his holdings to 28.58%. Another 1.42% and he will be required to launch a takeover bid. It’s not an option at 30% holdings, it’s a fiduciary requirement.

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  • els

    Yes that’s right your required to launch a takeover. Have you noticed the relationship blossoming with Karaoke at Arsenal they even went out their way to say what a ‘stand up guy he was’ at one point.

    Regarding the transfer cloak and dagger stuff we all know to take things with a pinch of salt. The thing with unveiling who they went for is that they may try again in the January window or the following season.

  • zohaib

    Here’s one interesting article that talks about the situation with Jose Antonio Reyes since he left us. Sad stuff.

    And here’s a link that portrays Usmanov as someone who has the ability to talk sense. It’s quite an interesting read.

    (don’t know why it says ‘…theo-walcott’ at the end but it still is the article I’m talking about).

  • Pete

    Interesting articles Zohaib. It’s a striking contrast when you compare how Reyes’ career to that of Ronaldo’s. I remember how highly regarded reyes was even before he signed for the Gunners.

    Am still not convinced that Usmanovs proposed deal was a good offer, despite the seemingly increase of available transfers. Even reading many of the comments on that article tells us that although in debt, the clubs finances are managed very well, and it’ll just improve more and more as time goes by. Plus, it looks like a buy-out from Stan Kroenke is on the cards sooner or later, so this could quite possibly be the last transfer window where we have relatively little money in comparison to other clubs.

    Regarding transfers, with the arrival of Lucho Gonzalez and what looks like the imminent arrival of Stephane M’bia at Marseille, perhaps Cana will soon be available afterall? It could be a similar situation to that of Nasri last year. Marseille took a while replacing him with Ben Arfa before Nasri’s move to Arsenal, so maybe Marseille are taking a similar approach to a possible transfer of Cana.

    Just a thought.