Monday Morning Transfer Round-Up and TV To Shore Up The Back Four
The transfer tales continue unabated, no-one sure of what is going on, contradictory stories appearing on a daily basis. Some of them bring relief, others concern. At the start of the summer, Wenger was urged to spend big. That demand then seemed to take a backwards step when £17m was mentioned as the price tag for Gary Cahill. The £12m being demanded by Blackburn Rovers for the services of Christopher Samba seemed a more acceptable fee.
Well, if Cahill is too expensive, Stewart Downing must surely be the same if this morning’s reports are to be given any credibility. Thankfully it seems that Aston Villa have taken leave of their senses and decided that £20m for the England international is required. Even allowing for the English Premium Tax (EPT), it is a price determined to put off suitors. Personally, I am more put off by his performances.
Thankfully, Peter Hill-Wood has made an utterance that most will agree with, Daily Star reporters contacted him last night and he was ‘unaware‘ of any bid. Well, that is what the paper tells us but as they did not have any quotes, I cannot comment on the veracity of his comments although it is not hard to believe that he would have questioned how they got his mobile phone number…
The trip to the Far East has attracted as much attention for who is going as to who is not. Gervinho has not yet received his Work Permit so is not there, neither has Miyaichi but he is. Which is not surprising given that neither requires a Work Permit to play for Arsenal in a foreign country. Perhaps it was his visa after all and not the rumoured wage demands?
Manuel Almunia was left behind to try to find a new club, a return to Spain seems to be his most likely destination. Nicklas Bendtner meanwhile, is reportedly of interest to Sporting Lisbon and Borussia Dortmund for around £9m. Or £12m, depending on which report you believe. And I wonder if the Sporting Lisbon and Borussia Dortmund he is being linked with this morning, are the same Sporting Lisbon and Borussia Dortmund who both denied being interested in the player four weeks ago when Daddy was bigging him up?
There was a suggestion that Werder Bremen like him and that he could be used as a makeweight in signing Per Mertesacker. But that’s yesterday’s news.
Which brings us to Cesc. The one thing that this summer has shown is an admirable dedication to the cause on the part of Sport, Barcelona’s pet media outlet. No matter what knock-backs they receive on any part of their Cesc crusade, they get back up right away and plug on with something new.
Leaving Cesc behind to continue his recovery from injury was manna from Heaven. Yesterday’s story concerning Wenger being sidelined in Nasri negotiations was an open goal and Sport buried the chance with some aplomb. Two become one. Cesc and Nasri are now intertwined but the Frenchman dropped so everything for Nasri will now be recycled for Cesc. The atmosphere surrounding the negotiations is more conducive to getting a deal completed. Just the small matter of about £5m now. At least that is now acknowledged as being a sticking point.
It’s still a load of old cobblers but entertaining nonetheless.
Elsewhere, Thomas Vermaelen has spoken ahead of the coming season, seeing the campaign as the opportunity to make up for lost time,
I am really excited, especially after last year. I want to prove myself again and show the people what I’m able to do.
Personally yes, of course I am more determined, I played a lot of games in my first year and I hoped to do well in my second year but unfortunately I had a big injury and I couldn’t play a lot so I couldn’t show the people a lot. I’m determined to go on the pitch this year and fight for it.
Whom the Belgian will partner in defence is the crucial question. If Cahill were to join, for example, he would be presumed to be a first choice, especially for the amount of money being demanded. To my mind this is the sort of player that Vermaelen would thrive alongside, a good aerial combatant who compliments the Belgian’s strength on the ground.
That presumes a newcomer will arrive. Of the existing players, Johan Djourou seems most likely to partner Vermaelen, Koscielny is a left-sided defender as well and there would be a lack of balance in the Franco-Belgian pairing. Djourou knows what Vermaelen has been through in losing a season of his career. He has shown the strength of character to come through that, his Belgian teammate has the strength of character to guide him on the pitch.
Not for one minute do I believe Wenger is planning on playing Vermaelen at left back. It is not a square peg in a round hole but certainly, it is not making the most of his strengths. Were he to play there, whomever is ahead of him is going to be ‘hugging the touchline’ more because it is hard to visualise Vermaelen making overlapping runs.
The key thing to this tour is everyone returning fully fit. Chelsea appear to have lost Michael Essien for the season through injury, Arsenal can ill-afford a similar occurrence.
Posted on July 11, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 372 Comments.