It’s Thursday the 1st of July and that means people are now officially signing for their new clubs. Today, Senderos officially joins Fulham. Today Gallas is officially available on a free and today Joe Cole could sign for someone… Therefore, I think it’s time for a round up of transfer activity involving the Arsenal and to take stock of the squad.
Before I do, a small comment on Man City and their recruitment drive. Of course, as you already know, they’ve added Jerome Boeteng and David Silva to their squad, a squad which currently owns Tevez and Robinho, both whom have been pretty damn good at the World Cup. And have virtually sealed a deal for Yaya Toure too. Whilst it’s interesting to see what’s going on up north, and exciting to have those talents join us in the Premier League, there will be a set of players who may be available – possibly Santa Cruz, De Jong, Adam Johnson and Joe Hart… it would be pretty awesome if we managed to get our hands on one or two of them, wouldn’t it…?
But out of cloud cuckoo land and back to reality and back to Arsenal and what we will really do. This summer, I think Arsene has a plan to get rid of some of the dead wood and get in some new blood to freshen up the squad. We saw what the additions of Arshavin and Tommy V have had in terms of quality of the squad. And with Gallas (troublemaker), Sol (stand in) and Silvestre (please go away) leaving the club, coupled with the departure of Senderos (always had a mistake per game in him), it looks like we’re going to revamp the defence.
So that’s the first time I’ve written Koscielny’s name without having to copy and paste it. We don’t know much about this guy, but if he turns out to be as good or nearly as good as Tommy V, then we’ve got another gem on our hands. Obviously, Arsene has been tracking him for a while now and all but a medical and an announcement has supposedly taken place. Rumours were that he would be announced today, but if not today, then it will be very soon!
I’m personally very excited about this signing. I thought highly of the player having seen him play for Bordeaux last season and like most of our signings, he has been on the radar for some time now. Arsene was particularly happy about the signing, talking about his eye for goal and his versatility. He’s 26, has Champions League experience and looks hungry.
A 20 year left winger, who has been out on loan in Spain for the last three years. The club believe a work permit will come through this year and he will be able to join the squad for pre-season. He is a left sided midfielder who can play at left back too – but does have a checkered history and there are questions marks over his attitude. But there are no question marks over his skills – he is the type of player who likes to dribble and take on the player in front of him and I for one, am definitely looking forward to seeing a bit of him this season.
The mercurial English talent that is Jack Wilshere should return to the squad after Arsene rejected the bid from Bolton to keep him on for the next season. He has proved he can cut it with his stint at Bolton and he could definitely add some attacking prowess to our team. We’ll see during pre-season and the Emirates cup how he’s come along and will get some idea of whether Arsene thinks he can cut it this season…!
Nordtveit is a central defender whom we sent out on loan to Nurnberg last season. He’s come back this season to rave reviews about his ability. Originally signed from FK Haugesund, he had loan spells with Salamanca and Lillestrom before his impressive stint at Nurnberg. He’s held in high regard and he could be a right old gem. He is back tomorrow to the club and he’ll hopefully take some part against Barnet on July 17th.
The young Spaniard never quite made it at Arsenal. Many people berate the fact he’s left, but he couldn’t get anywhere near the first team in his four year stay, so we have to consider that we’re not losing the best player in the world. We’re losing a young fringe player. I think he’ll go on to do well at Athletico and wish him all the best.
Senderos hasn’t played for us for about 2 years, he’s been out on loan to Everton and on loan to Milan and he’s not quite cut it at those places either. He isn’t really a loss in my eyes, as we’ve not had him for the last two years. We all wish him good luck!
The former captain is officially available on a free and despite his good form last season, I think he’s time is definitely up at the Emirates. Arsene did “try” to keep him, but with £5m per year off the wage bill. A big ego out of the club, a player who is 33 next season and a player that was unpopular with fans and players – it can only be a good thing. If Koscielny can prove himself as an adequate replacement, then we won’t miss the Frenchman whatsoever!
Sol came back to the club and did remarkably well in the absence of the injured Gallas, Vermaelen and Djourou – but with Djourou back in the frame after his injury and the signing of Koscielny, Sol looks like he may go in search of first team football up in Scotland with Celtic. I think it’s best for everyone. He’ll be 36 next season and would be fourth in our pecking order.
Last season, Silvestre was simply a liability – the pure fact he was on the wage bill stopped Arsene playing some of the youngsters who could have done with some game time. Mikael is off to the UAE if reports are to be believed and if Nordtveit does come back into the fold, he’ll be a more than adequate replacement.
Rumours are that he is off to Aston Villa for £5m – and you’ll see that rumour in all the papers today for sure. He’s really struggled for form and I would be sad if he left. I would rather he was loaned out with first team football for 6 months (until Christmas) and then come back after he’s refound his form. I think he’s still got it in him
So if the above transpires, which looks quite likely, then who else do you want to see come in? Would you be happy if we signed Joe Hart and Nigel De Jong from Man City for £20m. Would you be happy with a stop gap in Shwarzer whilst we look at Mannone and Szczesny as future first teamers? Are you happy with no more defenders? Is 4 enough? Especially with an unproven Nordtveit?
More questions than answers…