So after all the fun and games of the Emriates Cup, we’re back to the wonderful world of speculation and transfer deliberation… We’ve seen over the last weekend that we don’t necessarily need that many re-inforcements, but a player or two would be more moral boosting and perhaps more useful if we do indeed suffer the usual injury problems that we’ve renowned for suffering.
A player that we’ve been linked with and indeed have offered a sum of money for is Maroune Chamakh, but Arsene is unwilling to spend the 15 million euros that the club want and is willing to part with about half that and considering the player is in the last year of his contract, it makes sense.
“In five months, if he doesn’t prolong his contract Chamakh, will be free to talk to any club and Bordeaux won’t get anything. In the current context, to me, it is over. Let’s say that at the moment it is terminated. I like Chamakh, he is a forward that attracts me, but I already have (Theo) Walcott, (Nicklas) Bendtner, (Robin) Van Persie (Andriy) Arshavin and Eduardo. I am in no rush. My offer seems fair to me, taking the market into account. Chamakh would be good, but there are other options should we wish to pursue them.”
And Arsene has a massive point when it comes to the player and his availability. I don’t think Arsene thinks the squad needs a €15m player and if it did, that player wouldn’t be Maroune Chamakh. A player like Chamakh can bring something to the team, but is a raw talent and could go either way – and of course the gaffer knows that.
If the Chamakh purchase is not possible, then I think Arsene is ready to look at other options like Gignac and of course Solomon Kalou, who he has greatly admired for many seasons, but of course Jose, Phil and and Guus wouldn’t sell him to us – but maybe now Carlo A may have a different opinion and there is noise about a potential €8m bid which would be very acceptable in my eyes. The player, although currently on the wrong side of London, is definitely a little gem and if given an opportunity, he will be able to show that. He’s been in the company of world class players down at the bridge, but he’s not “one of them”, and he’s said nice things about Arsenal and the way we play football. I’d probably prefer Kalou to Chamakh because I think he’s a better player, but of course Chamakh is tainted with the Chelski blood, so it’s a hard one!
On the plus side, even if we don’t strengthen in the attacking department, we will see more of Jack Wilshere who looked the part in the recent tournament. The question is how he would fair in real competitive action – and where he would play. In our a 4-2-3-1, a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2 you could see him on the wings / attacking wing play quite easily – we’ve seen him deployed on the left last pre-season and on the right this pre-season, so we know he can play on either side.
Ray Parlour was in the news and had this to say about little Jack:
“I’m sure Arsene Wenger is saying ‘let’s concentrate on Arsenal this year and see how many games we can use him,’” he said. “We don’t want to rush the kid, but Fabio Cappello was here at the weekend and he must have been so impressed by Jack. He played with so much maturity for a 17-year-old and he makes the game looks easy and that is an art. It’s something that you are born with and he’s going to be a massive talent. But I’m not sure about (playing for) England next year. It all depends on how he does, but let’s not push him too hard. As he said in his interview (after the Emirates Cup) the most important thing is to break into this Arsenal team and play on a regular basis.”
The fact that Capello was at the stadium on Sunday has fuelled speculation that he’s being looked at in regards to the World Cup squad next year and a player like Jack - in my opinion – is very well suited to a tournament such as the World Cup. He likes to put on a show and the biggest competition in the world is certainly a big stage to put on a show. If Jack can get some playing time this season then I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t go to the World Cup. But as Arsene says, first let’s see more of him in the Premiership.
Regardless of Jack’s recent performances, I think Arsene will add a striker to the squad – yes, we do have Van Persie, Eduardo, Bendtner and Vela, but as usual, we may see two injured for large chunks, those two probably VP and Eduardo (at least niggling injuries) so another striker will be handy. A player like the the ones we’re being linked with are in the range of players I’d like, someone who would offer something else. But despite the potential signing of new players, we did have 29 players out and about on the weekends. Bob Wilson had this to say:
“When I introduced those 29 players today, I started thinking ‘Hang on a minute, how desperate is the need for other players here?’ Having said that, Thomas Vermaelen has come in and he is the only newcomer, though Armand Traore’s come back and Fran Merida’s back, and, obviously you have the massive boost of Tomas Rosicky who missed a season, and then the brilliant and wonderful Eduardo [Da Silva] who is back on board. I think Arsene will add a minimum of one, possibly two. He has the money to do it. But you know, and I know, that he will just not go in for the sake of spending money.”
And he has a very valid point… but like him, I do think Arsene will be in the market for one or two players. With the Champions League draw on Friday, we may see a player join us in the next few dayss…