Whilst the World Cup is taking place, the transfer market isn’t normally the busiest – for clubs, players and managers, it’s hard to negotiate and hard to get a player to think about a move whilst in the middle of the biggest International tournament of their lives. We’ve already signed Maroune Chamakh and will have to wait until the latter parts of the tournament or post tournament before we will see any more new faces.
One thing that does give me confidence that we will be signing more players in that agents and players alike are taking about and hinting at things – Arsene and the team are quietly going about their business, doing the deals and I honestly think we’ll be announcing a few more deals very soon… If you remember a couple of weeks ago, we were taking about Lorient defender Laurent Koscielny possibly joining the club. Having spent some time in the Lorient forums, a lot of information was extracted, talking about the various bids we have had for the player. More recently, the player has come out and said he wants to move to North London and join us, the details of the player’s agent quote matching the details from the forums.
“Laurent told the Lorient president and coach that he wants to move to Arsenal come what may. It is hard to ignore interest from Arsene Wenger. Lorient’s directors want to get over £8.3m from Arsenal. We have held talks with them, and with a sell-on clause inserted in the deal we are not far off agreement.”
Interesting, huh? Of course, this is good news because it allays fears of inactivity in the transfer market and also means we’re close to our second signing. Rumours are that we have agreed the price with them at £8.3m and Lorient also insisted on a sell on clause, as our history suggests we do sell players on for higher fees. Koscielny is yet to be capped, but can play for either France or Poland. He is 24 – has a good amount of experience, albeit not much in the top flight, but does look decent.
With Gallas’ contract having expired, Mikael Silvestre going to the far east and Sol Campbell going to Celtic, that is 3 players out in that department. I won’t include Senderos as a departee as he hasn’t played for two years, so doesn’t really need replacing. So 3 out and therefore 3 in? Koscielny would be our first choice next to Vermaelen most likely, with Djourou and Nortveit the backup players – but surely, another centre back would be required too, as we shouldn’t think of moving Song back as, personally, I think he is an essential midfielder in he way we play.
Peter Hill Wood recently admitted that we put in a bid for Schwarzer and we know that a no-goer. We’ve also heard rumours about a bid for Enyema, which doesn’t seem like it has materialised either, but it does look like we will be signing a new keeper at some point this summer. And it looks like it’s going to be either a golden oldie or a cheaper alternative. We have the two young keepers, but in reality, no-one can ever predict that anyone is going to be world class or even good enough for the premiership until they’ve played in it regularly and whilst we keep one eye on the future, we need to keep both eyes on the present. It means getting in a quality keeper who can deliver.
In World Cup news, Spain showed Cesc an example of how life would be if he moved to Barcelona – he’d be on the bench. With Spain adopting a similar approach to Barcelona with Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta edging out the Arsenal captain. Personally, I think it was what ultimately lost them the game. Cesc has scored more goals than Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Alonso and Silva put together and has scored recently for Spain too. He is a better player than Busquets and Alonso and really should have featured in their midfield. Cesc was in the press saying that the Spanish team spend a lot of time analysing their opponents, and admitted that it’s something that doesn’t regularly happen at Arsenal. But a fat lot of good that does, they couldn’t even beat the Swiss.
Finally, great news in my own World Cup journey as I’ve managed to get tickets for England vs Algeria on Friday – a little bit expensive as a flight and hotels are also required to Cape Town, but what a great adventure it promises to be… Tomorrow I am off to see Argentina vs South Korea, which promises to be a great game! I cannot wait. More pics and more info to come in the next few days…. Adios for now.