Does Senderos Have a Future at Arsenal?
In 2003 Arsenal signed a young Swiss centre back, Philip Senderos. It took time for Senderos to make into the first team as he had to get past Keown, Campbell, Toure and Cygan (yes do not laugh but he was part of the Invincibles).
Senderos was always a player who needed a run of games to gain confidence/. His first spell coincided with Arsenal keeping clean sheets in several games. He looked assured in the air, was solid and timed his tackles well. Senderos lacked pace, so for him positioning was essential. He soon became a regular for Switzerland and eventually was their captain.
Then we had chinks develop in his game; the physical side was a problem. Senderos is not a small player, but perhaps needs a few more muscles. When he came up against players like Beattie he was too easily brushed off the ball. Then Senderos’ nemesis arrived. Drogba. Whenever Arsenal played Chelsea, Drogba was able to bully Senderos, he caused him to make errors, Drogba always scored against Senderos.
The mistakes became frequent, the player started to question himself and last season Senderos was “dropped.” Not easy for any player to accept, but it had to be done for his sake and for the benefit of the team.
The summer saw Senderos go to AC Milan on a season long loan. Many believed this was a way of AC Milan getting their man a year early as they did not have the money to buy him. However, it now appears that the Swiss centre back is on his way back after AC Milan have decided not take up the option of buying him.
Is there really a future for Senderos at Arsenal. Has his game changed to allow him to adapt to the English game, what is his mental state? If Wenger can keep both Toure and Gallas this summer, Wenger will be looking at selling the Swiss defender . He will be surplus to requirements. In Johan Djourou Wenger has a defender who is fast and good in the air. In the reserves we have a young Norwegian ,Nordveit, whom Wenger rates very highly and could make the first team squad next season. Even if either Gallas or Toure leaves in the summer, Wenger will look to recruit another centre back who will be able to command and dominate the defence, he will try to sell Senderos for £6m.
It is harsh on a player to be discarded, but Senderos does not have anything to offer Arsenal that is not there from other players. In recent seasons Senderos has never instilled confidence in Arsenal fans and there has been nothing in his AC Milan displays to change that fact.