It seems no matter where you go what you do you can’t escape Arsenal transfer speculation, even in September papers were linking us to deals in January ‘price agreed’ and ‘Arsenal make contact with’ are titles we’ve all become accustomed to. It doesn’t even seem to be tied in any way to form either, when we were having our worse start for 50 years the flow was as steady as it is now.
One name that has constantly popped up since the middle of the summer window though is that of 19 year old ‘wunder-kid’ Mario Gotze of Borussia Dortmund. The German teen has attracted attention from pretty much every big gun in Europe read, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Milan (Inter and AC), Manchester United, Chelsea (pfft) and of course Manchester City. I’m sure Liverpool were in there somewhere but as he’s not English and ridiculously overvalued ‘King Kenny’ will doubtlessly look elsewhere.
Arsenal are enjoying a real resurgence in form right now, Arsene managed to turn the vibes around at the club after the 8-2 thrashing with a few signings, we had the blip at Blackburn after that and a few slip ups but overall the team is plodding along nicely playing in a way we haven’t seen before.
Some of the technique the o-la-la if you like has gone out of our game but there’s a steady work ethic and real passion to grab the win now. The players seem to be enjoying each win all the more now and under Van Persie’s captaincy they really do look like they’re willing to fight for each other and the fans to get the victory. Though we have lost some of our flashiness it’s nice to see, we all remember the super slick Arsenal shipping four goals against Newcastle, or going 2-0 up against Wigan only to lose 3-2, or going 4-2 up against Spurs only to drop to a 4-4 draw. When Chelsea clawed their way back to a totally undeserved 3-3 at the Bridge this year I doubt I was the only one thinking ‘and wait for the fourth.’ But to my surprise it was us who bagged the fourth and fifth goals to take a historic win.
Some players have really stepped up to the mark and they deserve a pat on the back for it, it’s these guys you need to keep around. When the going got tough they didn’t need to be searched for, they were right there on the line fighting. I’m thinking of Koscielny, Schez, Vermaelen (now he’s back), of course RVP, Arteta, Gervinho. Ramsey is putting the effort in aware that our midfield talisman will return in a month or so. Walcott has stepped up his game now he can feel the breath of the Ox on the back of his neck. Frimpong and Coquelin have done well and brought a freshness and youthful energy to the team every time they’ve played. Andre Santos is improving with each game and it’s staggering how many attacks he starts each week.
But to notice the heroes, you can’t help but point fingers at the villains. Chamakh looks to be heading out of the club most likely to PSG (Le City de Manchester of Francais) and with a fee of £12 Million being talked about I wouldn’t shed too many tears at seeing the weirdly oily back of the Moroccan’s head. He’s been given enough chances and although some of his ball work and hold up play is good, he just doesn’t score enough goals or even look interested in being an attacking threat.
As much as it pains me to say it we need to look to sell Arshavin and bring someone in to replace him, and perhaps this is where young Gotze comes in.
I don’t know how many of you have paid attention to the German youngster since the summer but I certainly have (as much as I can) and he looks like a cross between a Fabregas and a Nasri. He has that killer ball in him, quick feet and a great sense of the game like Cesc. But he also runs the wings, has good pace and bags of tricks like Nasri. From reading up on him, joining his Facebook page he also seems a genuinely nice guy and has nothing but praise for us having played us. His agent said ‘Mario was wowed by the setup at Arsenal. The ground and the fans, the way they play the game is the way he wants to.’
Rumour has it Arsene is ready to break our transfer record and splash £25 Million on the kid. Dortmund want £30 Million but I think they’re playing hardball, though they are in a better bargaining position than say LOSC Lille who want a ludicrous £44 Million for Eden Hazard – another Arsene target.
The window opens in around three weeks and I hope we’re much more organised than we were this summer. What happened in August was nothing short of a complete shambles and it took an 8-2 pasting at Old Trafford to thankfully wake up everyone at Arsenal HQ and they pulled their fingers out.
Let’s hope the fingers are already out, the phones are in use, e-mails and faxes (if anyone does that anymore) are being sent and we are negotiating because we do need reinforcements. These players are trying to so hard and I can see a burn out in the very near future. We can’t expect Robin to carry the team to fourth alone. And we can’t expect Jack to come back and be our Cesc and Samir in attack – talented though he is.
However, I do appreciate you cannot change too much too soon and upset what is a very precarious balancing act at Arsenal. I think most of us can agree losing Chamakh in January would hardly upset the apple cart, neither would the loss of the Squid for a couple of million. Frimpong looks like he’s going on loan to Wolves and unless Diaby (who’s injured again having played five minutes of football) can string a few games together before January I’d be tempted to send him on loan to France with a view to a permanent move in the summer.
We’re not going to bank fortunes, perhaps £15 Million if the expected transfers of Chamakh and Squillaci go through and Arshavin stays put for now but it does mean we’d only have to spend £10 Million of our money (the fee for Arteta) to land Gotze who has made it clear we (along with those Catalans clowns) are his preferred destinations. Please Arsene, don’t do another Mata.
Lukas Podolski along with Damiao the Brazilian striker have been linked with Wenger clearly realising that Van Persie will need a rest occasionally and with Chamakh looking ready to jump ship and Park hardly inspiring confidence up top he needs a good understudy.
I know there are people who still want defensive reinforcements along with a whole host of new talent but I honestly think Mario Gotze and perhaps Podolski or another decent striker will be enough to see us start battling at the top of the table again. Don’t forget Wilshere will be back at the close of the window meaning our options in attacking midfield are mouth-watering.
Should the German arrive do you put him in the middle of the park? Or up top with Van Persie and Gervinho leaving a probable middle of Arteta, Song and Wilshere? That’s the beauty of a player like Gotze.
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Article written by Super Cesc.