In the last couple of days, it’s been a little confusing to read all the articles on the net and all the newspaper stories about what’s going to happen at the Arsenal this summer. On one hand, you hear that Arsene is going to strengthen and bring in experienced players – something he has repeated several times this close season. Of course, we want to see big experience – we want to world class players – but when Arsene says experience, I hope he is not referring to the likes of Silvestre etc
With Niklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela surely out of the door this summer, it’s time to bring in a striker. Falcao, the 30 goal striker from Porto is mentioned, a costly addition, and unproven in a senior league – kind of reminds me of what Alves did in Holland and then flopped in England. But Falcao has a much better reputation that Alves did and could prove to have the same impact as Suarez, who also came from a lower league. Arsene has also been linked with Gervinho, the Lille striker, but are any of those two really an option?
I have a real feeling that perhaps this summer won’t be the sudden summer of signings that everyone thinks it will be. We’ve been linked with Benezma of Real Madrid but I will tell you now that he is certainly not a player who we will sign. He cost Real Madrid £35m and is on a bigger contract that Cesc Fabregas – even if we bought him for half the price, he would still become our record signing and he’d have to take a wage cut. Would we shell out £15m – £20m on one player, I doubt it. Do we want to sign players who are already at the ceiling of our wage structure, I think not. Out of all the names mentioned, Gervinho at £8m with a £40k a week contract is probably the level we’re aiming at.
But do we have enough within our team to potentially not buy another striker? Jay Simpson, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Sanchez Watt and even Theo Walcott could play up front as back up to Chamakh and Van Persie – but is that enough? They say you get what you pay for and if we continue to focus on trimming budgets and promoting from within, will we ever be able to compete with the other top clubs.
It’s a tough cookie to understand who we need to bring in – for me, a striker is essential, a marquee signing if you wish – we’ve been linked with Edin Hazard and he would slot nicely on the left of midfield – a talented player – a young player and someone who can really become something special. With Denilson leaving and massive question marks over the fitness of Abou Diaby, a new midfielder is on the cards and something that people want.
We’ve recently got Aaron Ramsey back into our squad and his displays this season have shown that he can make a difference. The question for Arsene is even if Denilson and Diaby do both go, then are the likes of Ramsey, Lansbury, Frimpong and Miyachi ready for first team action – if you add in Nasri, Wilshere, Cesc and Song, that’s a lot of midfielders – but a lot of midfielders without experience. There have been a lot of rumours about us signing Scott Parker. But, despite his POTY award, has he really shown us that he is the one we need. He didn’t do that well at Chelsea and he’s just finished the season with a relegated club. He’s over 30 and he’s not in the same physical league as the other midfielders I’ve mentioned and that makes me think who on earth can Arsene bring in?
I’d love him to sign a strong midfielder to compliment the likes of Wilshere and Song – two players who have played a hell of a lot of football this season.
We’ve also been linked with two defenders – Sakho from PSG and Cahill from Bolton – both players will cost £15m. Both look like decent players – my preference being Sakho – young, very talented, and quite experienced, despite being only 20. The question for Arsene is whether bringing in big centre back to partner Vermaelen is the right decision – obviously it will block the progress of Djourou and Koscielny – who despite the massive amounts of mistakes they’ve both made this season, do look promising.
Which leads me to believe that I don’t think Arsene will bring in a big centre back – Vermaelen will be “like a new signing”.
I can see enough excuses in the squad for Arsene not to buy a lot of players – a lot of potential – but if our current squad has such a soft centre – throwing away leads willy nilly and unable to defend, then something has to change. We need a leader to be added to the squad – we need some grit and determination – experience and spirit.
I don’t know what Arsene will do, but I hope he has a better plan than bringing in more 16 years olds.
Let’s see how today pans out, and whether we’ll hear any more news…
Will Arsene Sort It Out This Summer? Maybe, Maybe Not…