Author Archives: agreekabroad
Arsenal fans are gearing themselves for an influx of players, we are waiting with baited breath. We are also aware that the exodus from the Emirates will be a big one this summer. Players who have not made the grade, others who have not had the opportunity and some who think the grass is greener on the other side of the tracks.
Starting at the back, the first player to be shown the door is Manuel Almunia, probably a season too late. Almunia had a nightmare season, at fault against WBA in both games and dropped after each game, Wenger will let Almunia go for anything and I think Almunia will want to get away from the club, he ranks 3rd choice at the moment.
Wenger’s other decision will be whether to bring in an experienced goalkeeper, if he does then either Vito Mannone or more likely Lukas Fabianski will also leave this summer.
In the defensive line, Sebastien Squilaci will be allowed to leave on free transfer if we sign both Samba and Gary Cahill. Squillaci was signed as fourth choice centre-back, but due to injuries to Vermaelen he appeared 32 times for Arsenal. Wenger will keep him as 5th choice centre back if he fails to land both his centre-back targets.
Gael Clichy looks like he will definitely leave this summer. Wenger does not appear to have made any effort to keep the France international and he is right not to open contract discussions with him. The only question is where he will go and the price. Roma appear to be the favourites and the fee around £8M.
Emmanuel Eboue our loveable Ivorian could also be on the way out. I would be sad to see Eboue go, not necessarily for football reason, but he is the joker in the pack, the man who will greet every player at the end of each game, the player who leaves the pitch last. Eboue could be frustrated with his lack of first team opportunities and ask to leave. If he does leave his fee will be around £8M.
Midfield could see several players leave. Denilson has started that he wishes to leave, well the feeling is mutual. This player has been given 5 seasons to prove himself, an opportunity not afforded to Sebastien Larsson or Fabrice Muamba, both of whom are better than Denilson. There will be no tears shed over his departure. Denilson has been offered as a makeweight in our attempts to lure either Willian or Costa from Shaktar Donetsk. The value of Denilson will again be in the region of £8M.
Tomas Rosicky will be allowed to leave and his destination will be the Bundesliga. Rosicky has never recovered from his massive injury. Arsenal have remained loyal to him, but this summer he will be told his is no longer required and will go on a free transfer.
The interesting player is Andrey Arshavin. A player of immense talent; but the laziest player in our current squad. His former club have made noises about buying him back, but the player has stated he does not intend to leave. If Wenger secures Gervinho and one of Willian or Alvarez, Wenger will listen to offers for the Russian in the region of £10M.
The one player we all expect to see leave this summer is Cesc Fabregas, forget about the Barcelona posturing over lack of transfer funds or that Cesc’s value has dropped, Guardiolla is obsessed with Cesc and fee of around £30M plus players will be agreed this summer.
Nicklas Bendtner has made is clear that he wishes to leave and there is interest in the Dane. Bendtner was never given the chance to play as a striker; Wenger was obsessed in playing him on the wing. Bendtner has neither the pace nor the ability to play in the role, Arsenal‘s valuation is £12M and we should stick to this figure.
Another player never to have fulfilled his potential is Carlos Vela. Is Wenger prepared to give him one more season to prove he can make it or will Wenger say its time to say goodbye? There will be plenty of takers in Spain and Vela will have some success there, the fee will be around £6M.
We could see up to 11 players leave this summer; these departures could add £82M to Wenger’s transfer budget which is already reported to be £60M! What players can Wenger bring in with £140M?
Manchester United and Liverpool have already made a big start to their summer spending with the signings of Phil Jones £20 million Ashley Young £15M and Liverpool buying Jordan Henderson £20M. This came on the day that we bought our first signing- no not a big name player but a 19 year old from Charlton for £1 million.
Big players have been linked with us over the years and nothing has come of it because we have refused the asking price or is they are just ‘not the right player for the job’. However this summer sees a change on arsenals philosophy in the transfer market. It seems Wenger is willing to spend big!
We appear have signed Gervinho from the French champions Lille for a reported £10.6 million. Gervinho is a versatile player who can play on the wing or up front with Van Persie.
Chris Samba is another player we have been rumoured to have signed for around £9 million. The 27 year old has made it clear he wants to play for us and Blackburn have even acknowledged this . He is a very physical no nonsense player who will sort out the defensive problems we have had over the last few years.
Cahill another long term target is next on Wenger’s shopping list, with Gazidis having met with the Bolton chairman and discussed the move. Cahill is only 25 years old and the Bolton and England International defender is a great player to have in defence being a powerful and composed player the sort we need in our team. His buyout clause is £17 million however we are apparently looking at spending £15 million instead. Arsenal are now favourites to conclude this signing.
Another player who we are heavily linked with is Jose Enrique who would be a good replacement for Gael Clichy who seems to be on his way out. The price we are going to get him at is around £8 million which is a reasonable price for a very physical and technically gifted left back.
The final player we are very close to signing is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin. Various sources say that we have agreed personal terms with him and we are waiting till the 1st July to announce this. The cost isn’t a small figure but £12 million. This price tag is quite large especially when you think that he is only 17 years old. It shows the change in policy from Wenger in spending big money on players.
The cost of these 5 players comes to over £50 million. A massive jump from our normal spending of £10 million and shows a real intention for next season.
Hopefully our spending doesn’t stop here and we go on to buy some more players to add quality and strength to our squad.
There have been several reports recently that Alisher Usmanov will announce any day now that he has acquired Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith’s 15.6% share in Arsenal. This will take Usmanov’s holding to over 40%, resulting in him being obliged to make a formal offer for the club.
The Board, namely Peter Hill-Wood will make statements to the effect that the club is not for sale, despite the fact the Hill-Wood sold his shares in Arsenal many years ago to David Dein! Danny Fiszman will also resist the lure of Usmanov as it will see the return to the club of his nemesis David Dein.
The real kingmaker is new board member Stan Kroenke. Kroenke has built a stake up approaching the crucial 29.9% mark, mostly through the sale of shares for fellow board members Fiszman and the Carr brothers. Significantly, Kroenke is not subject to the “lock-down” agreement that the other board members have signed up to.
Kroenke stake in the club is primarily to make a profit and if Usmanov offers him a premium he will accept the price and sell his shares. Kroenke is not a long-term investor in the club.
The takeover of the club is what Arsenal needs; we need one person to be the powerbroker, one person who will drive the club forward. At the moment we have too many people with different agendas.
Many fans will fear the Usmanov will saddle the club with debt in the same way as the Glazers did at Manchester United and Hicks and Gillett did at Liverpool. I doubt this will be the case. This is man who offered to pay-off the club’s £100million debt in return for a larger stake in the club only to have this idea turned down by the board.
Usmanov will bring back to the club Mr Arsenal – David Dein. This will be the perfect move as Dein ensured that Wenger got his transfer targets, we would have bought Hangeland, Chamakh and Matuidi had Dein been at the club in the summer.
If Usmanov is successful in taking over the club, I hope he has the foresight to retain the services of Ivan Gazidis who is taking Arsenal forward in the commercial and marketing spheres.
Arsenal Football Club needs one owner and that man is Alisher Usmanov.