When the transfer window closes, it does not mean that newspapers put away the rumour mill machines; on the contrary, the rumours go into overdrive. Arsenal are always connected with a host of youngsters, primarily based on previous experience.
Arsenal have been linked with Lille central midfielder Cabaye, why, well he is French which is major criteria for Arsenal purchases apparently and he is a central midfielder which is what we need.
We have also been linked with Atletico Madrid “starlet” Koke. He is 17 years old, another defensive midfielder and if he joined he will follow the path of Cesc and Merida, leaving Spanish teams prior to signing a professional contract, causes a storm and then we will offer £500,000 as compensation. Koke is aware of interest from Arsenal and stated, “Arsenal have watched some of my matches, but I have not spoken with anybody.”
As with all good things, we are also being linked to Inter Milan central midfielder Davide Santone. There is a catch with this though, Inter Milan will want a small fortune for him, so we can discount this one straight away.
The rumour that will never go away is Stephen Appiah.
Appiah is a favourite of the football forums, he is a near mythical figure amongst the cybergooners, and he is the answer to all of our problems, apparently. Appiah is a free agent, so he can sign outside the transfer windows. He had a trial at Spurs in January, Arsenal looked at him in September, but the medical staff were not convinced that he had over come his injury. He has played for Ghana recently and is still being considered as an option by Wenger. Any deal, if there was to be a deal, will be until the end of the season, with an option to extend it beyond. Whilst this might suit Arsenal, we are after all talking about 18 weeks and wages in the region of £1 million, Appiah might want the security of a longer contract from the outset.
Four days after the transfer window closed, the spotlight is on Stephen Appiah. The Ghanaian captain is a free agent and thus able to join any club at any time. Appiah has been linked with Arsenal in the past, but a bad injury put paid to previous moves.
Wenger has been a long time admirer of the big African. If Appiah has fully recovered, and we will know more tonight after the Ghana Libya game, Wenger should offer him a contract. Appiah was due to sign for West Ham for £40,000 a week, but with Curbishley leaving the Hammers, this has left West Ham in turmoil. Wenger should use this opportunity to sign the midfielder who is a box-to-box powerful player, he will add power and experience to our squad.
Do not hesitate Arsene on this one, we lost out on Barry, Alonso and Inler lets make Appiah our player.
The transfer window closed at midnight last night and our inactivity in the market has been overshadowed by the £65M transfers completed in Manchester last night. But the market is not completely closed, though the options are few and far between.
Wenger can still sign a couple of players, that is players who are free agents. Whilst they cannot play in the Champions League group stages, they are eligible for all domestic tournaments.
Two players who we can get on a free are Alexi Smertin and Stephen Appiah.
Smertin is 33 years old and was released by Fulham. If we are looking for another experienced body he could do a job, probably not a very good one over a long period of time.
The other excites me, Stephen Appiah the Ghanaian player has been released by Fenerbahce. He is 28 years old and captain of Ghana. He could prove a great signing. He is a strong, athletic player, will stiffen up the midfield.
Appiah may be a player that Wenger could go for, even though he had his heart set on Alonso for whom we had a £14M bid turned down last night by Liverpool. Appiah will play for Ghana this Friday against Libya, he has indicated that he will decide on his future after that match. West Ham and Portmsouth are reportedly interested in him, though I assume that Wenger having missed out on players will have one eye on the Ghana game this Friday and will be ready to pounce.