As the dust slowly settles on another season, transfer season is once more upon us. No doubt we will be linked with over 100 players this summer, most of them are players who are looking for a new contract, like Wolfsburg Brazilian midfielder Josue, others will be a host of young up and coming French boys and some will be the normal suspects, Yaya Toure, Stephen Appiah, Gareth Barry.
Wenger will be looking at strengthening the squad and the team and part of the process will be determined by what happens to Adebayor, Silvestre and Gallas. It is a fine balancing act, bring in too many players and you stunt the progress of players like Merida, Ramsey and Wilshere who will be looking to make more first team appearances next season.
France has been a happy hunting ground for Arsene in recent years, with Francis Coquelin and Gilles Sunu the latest youngsters waiting to make the move from Arsenal academy and reserves to first team duty. Arsenal have Gilles Grimandi scouting players all the time and his recommendations are taken seriously by Arsene Wenger.
The latest batch of players that we have been linked to are all French Ligue 1 based players, headed up by Eden Hazard a Belgian player who plies his trade for Lille. This has moved from website gossip to the English newspapers and not just the tabloids, Hazard is an attacking midfielder, something we have plenty of at the club, unless of course Wenger opts to move Arshavin or Walcott into more central roles. His team-mate Yohan Cabaye has been a name we have been linked with all season. He is a “defensive” midfielder, but in line with new Wenger recruits he is not a 6 foot giant. Three other La Ligue targets are Henri Saivet from Bordeaux, but as the Girondins are about to win the title and embark on a lucrative Champions League campaign, we should dismiss this transfer. The other two are targets from last season; PSG’s Mamadou Sakho and St Etienne’s Blaise Matuidi who has indicated that he would relish a move to the Emirates. Matuidi will be very interesting as the Director of Football at Les Verts is none other than Damien Comolli who single handedly did a great job at ruining Spurs, well done Damien.
The only issue with these lads is their age. Many people have said we need experienced players, yet Hazard is 18, Sakho 19, Matuidi 22, whilst Cabaye is 23. If we signed any of these lads, except Cabaye, they will be no more than bench warmers, unless they showed early form and ability to cope with the Premier League. Wenger will probably look at bringing over no more than two of these players as their transfer fees will eat into our transfer budget.