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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.
We enter the transfer window with two of our players entering the last 12 months of their contracts, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy.
Arsenal fans are fretting over what is to become of Nasri. The media has gone mad on linking him to Manchester United, even to the extent that they will offer us £8M for the playmaker.
That we have reached this situation is a disaster. Someone at the club needs their backside kicked, Nasri has been an important player since he joined, the club should have sat down and sorted out a new contract ages ago, instead we find ourselves trying to keep one of our best players, instead of trying to recruit more players.
Wenger told us that the wages offered, £90K a week, are an issue, but is this the only issue? If Nasri is asking for £110K, then the club should offer him the money, it is petty to lose such a talent for £1M. What would it cost to replace Nasri, more than £8M that Manchester United are offering us.
We cannot afford to allow Nasri to leave.
Gael Clichy on the hand is a player whom we can let go, but not to another Premier League club. I have never been impressed with Clichy. Whilst he is a fast defender, he has cost us too many goals through his slow thinking, starting with the last minute penalty against Birmingham City, which probably cost us the title. Unlike Ashley Cole or Kierran Gibbs, Clichy does not know what to do when he is in the opponents’ half, he is not a naturally attacking player, just look at the number of goals scored and the lack of quality in his crosses.
When Clichy leaves, Gibbs will become the first choice left-back and he will develop into a world class player. Gibbs is a product of the Arsenal academy, which means he will have greater loyalty towards Arsenal than Clichy.
Wenger should sell Clichy abroad, Real Madrid will be a good destination, and then use some of his wages to keep Nasri.
As the transfer rumour season gets under way, the press is busy slaughtering us for our lack of activity.
Well let’s look at what has happened so far.
Liverpool have spent £20M on an England u-21 international, a player who is not as good as either Wilshere or Ramsey, so what did they expect us to do, spend money for the sake of spending money?
Manchester United panicked and bought Phil Jones from Blackburn Rover for £16M. This is a player who is another England under-21 international, what surprised me was that we offered £16M for this player. I would prefer to pay that sort of money for Gary Cahill, who is 25 years old, played nearly 200 Premier League games and is an England international that to me is value for money.
Manchester United then bought Ashley Young, a good player sometimes for £16M and paying him £130K a week. Why would Man Utd pay such high wages for a player who will score 5-7 goals a season?
Meanwhile at the Emirates we have secured the services of 19 year old right-back Carl Jenkinson for £1M and he club has secured the services of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton for £12M(The Mirror), but because it is Arsenal, Wenger is being slaughtered by the media because he has not purchased a “marque” signing.
The next seven days will be crucial for Arsenal. In this time Wenger will sanction the sale of Fabregas to Barcelona, this in turn will allow Nasri to stay at the Emirates. We can also expect to see the signings of Sambas and Cahill confirmed by the club.
TalkSPORT are already announcing that we have signed Lille striker Gervinho, the jury is be out on him as to whether he is another dud or an inspirational signing.
So all is not doom and gloom at the Emirates, and this time next week the media will be waxing lyrical at Arsenal’s re-building program.
Arsenal has announced all their pre-season friendly games.
The curtain raiser is the trip to Underhill to face Barnet on 18 July. The squad then flies off to Austria for our traditional summer training camp. This could be the last Austrian training camp as the club is moving into the 21st Century and is contemplating a Far East or American tour for future years.
Whilst in Austria the team will play two friendlies against SC Columbia on 21 July, followed by a game against Szombathely Haladas on 27 July, whom we played last year. Again as with last year, the training camp is concluded with a friendly against German opposition, whilst last year it was VfB Stuttgart, this year it is Hannover 96 on 29 July.
Then it is back to England and the Emirates Cup where we will play Atletico Madrid and Rangers over the weekend 1 and 2 August.
Arsenal’s final pre-season game is on 8 August when we travel to Valencia for a friendly.
The club’s website states that the first four games can only be seen live on Arsenal TV Online. What does this mean for Arsenal TV? As of last night it was still on air, whilst the Setanta family of channels were all removed from the EPG. Arsenal TV and Liverpool TV were still broadcasting.
Arsenal as a top club needs a television channel, even if it is free to air.