So, after many days of Cesc related blogging, it’s time to take a look at what’s happening in the wonderful world of Arsenal. Who’s signing… who’s not signing… who’s going… who’s coming… I’ll start with a rumour about a non-Arsenal player and then make my way through the rest!.
There have been a lot, a hell of a lot of rumours about Joe Cole. Personally, I’ve spoken to 10 – 15 different people, whom all seem to have a hunch that Joe Cole will be joining us next season. My view: not a chance in hell. Why you may ask? Well, as we all know, Arsenal as a club haven’t really been in the trophies in the last few seasons, whereas Chelsea have won quite a bit in the last 5 years. Joe Cole hasn’t seen that much game time since his injury, but surely he would featured if he remained at the club. The club want to keep him, and he wants to stay. His best friends are Ashley Cole, John Terry and Frank Lampard. He wants £120k a week to stay to match what other players are on and we aren’t even willing to offer the likes of Gallas £80k. It just doesn’t add up – regardless of the rumours, I just can’t see it happening. Even Harry “I will bankrupt this club within a year” Redknapp has pulled out of a deal because of the wages.
If Joe Cole did want to leave and come to Arsenal then I’d definitely take him. He’s got skill and has a winning mentality. Arsene could do a Sol Campbell-esque purchase and add in a hefty sign on fee to help the lower wages pro-rata to higher wages…
Just to clear things up, Zenit St Petersburg announced on their site at the time of the transfer that Andrei Arshavin had signed a three and a half year contract – however, many people on this side of the sea believe it was for four and a half years (until he was 31). Either way, he has either 2 or 3 years left on his existing contract. The Russian is an interesting character and many people have split views on him. Regardless of his form being patchy, he is a world class performer who has the ability to play at the highest level. He won’t be going anywhere in a hurry, that’s for sure and he will perform much better next season – especially with the new additions that we’ll be bringing in this summer.
Our little midfield maestro looks more and more likely to stay on at Bolton for the first part of next season (August until January) as the clubs confirmed today that they are in talks about extending the loan for the first part of next season. People say it’s a silly move, especially with all the uncertainty of Cesc’s future and the injury to Ramsey. But in reality, if Jack isn’t ready for first team action, then he’s not ready for first team action, regardless of whether Cesc is here or not. The news around Gary Cahill is a non-starter, I don’t think Bolton want to sell, and we certainly don’t want to buy a player rated at £15m – £20m. And if we were going to spend £15m – £20m on a defender, we could probably find a better one than Cahill… Right?
The mercurial Spanish youngster has now left us for pastures new. The reactions are mixed and quite interesting to see the diversity of thoughts. Some of the people who berated Merida for leaving, I can’t really understand. Why – you may ask? Well, in simple terms, Fran Merida has been with us for four years and never started a Premier League game. He’s had four substitute appearances in the Premier League and as nice as it is to play in the reserves and Carling cup, it’s by no means ideal. If Arsene really rated him, we would have seen a lot more of him in the last year – maybe that’s why it took him longer and he only recently signed the contract. With Denilson, Song, Ramsey and Cesc out injured for a lot of the season in different parts, you’ll have to guess that he felt not being used more frequently was a sign that Arsene didn’t have the trust in him that he had in the younger players like Ramsey and Eastmond and also knew he wouldn’t be first choice for quite a while, if at all. Athletico Madrid intend to start with him and that’s worth a punt in my eyes.
Who? I hear you ask… Well, according to people near the club, there have been talks about signing this guy. But then again, there are hundreds of names linked all the time. This guy is a defender – he currently plays for Lorient and he is 24 years old. Why am I writing about him with no real link know… Simple because he reminds me of Thomas Vermaelen. And that, I like.
Check out these videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3tqvxbnU6c and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=039803yJCag&feature=related.
Why mention this guy now, I hear you ask… Well Diakhate would be a fun name to pronounce for starters, but also because a certain Bacary Sagna has lauded heaps of praise on the young defender. He is current on the books of Dynamo Kiev and is currently vice captain of the national team. He’s got 24 caps, has got a goal to his name and has just completed a very good season with Saitn Etienne.
Sagna had this to say about Diakhate:
“I don’t know what the plan is for next year. We are all waiting to see what the manager does but Malickou he would be very welcome in our team. He is Senegalese like me and plays for the national team. He played for Nancy in France so I played against him a few times and he is very dangerous at set-pieces. I have met him a few times and he is a very good guy and a very good player.”
And you have to think there is something in the story for a player to be talking about it, don’t you?
A quick round up of other footballing news has seen Robin Van Persie net two for Holland in their win yesterday, have a look at the game…
Nice. If only we had Robin for the whole season… hey…