The media made a big fuss when Liverpool secured the signing of Jordan Henderson for a fee in the region of £20M from Sunderland. Some people even questioned whether Arsenal had been left behind in this deal. Arsenal fans remained silent, not out of shock at missing out on a good player, but because we all knew we had at least three British players on our books better than Henderson.
Jack Wilshere is the first and obvious player, a player that could go on to dominate English football for many years. Close behind him in a ability is Aaron Ramsey the Wales captain, but Arsenal fans also know that another one of our youngsters is primed for greatness… Henri Lansbury.
Lansbury joined Arsenal at the age of 9 and has made steady progress through the ranks. Lansbury is a strong, tall and skilful midfielder who has served his apprenticeship at Scunthorpe, Watford and Norwich City, playing over 80 games and scoring 14 goals in the last three seasons. Not bad for a 20 year old.
In the recent European Under-21 Championships, in his infinite wisdom Stuart Pearce only used Lansbury as a substitute in every game. In every game when Lansbury came on England looked more creative, with Lansbury not shirking his responsibilities and going for goal at every opportunity. Henderson on the other hand showed very little creativity and did not look a £20M player.
Next season is a crucial season for Lansbury, he has the ability to break into the first team and hold down a regular spot, be is as a defensive midfielder, an attacking creative player or even out on the wings. Lansbury will talk with Wenger on his return about his future at Arsenal and his role for next season.
In the past Wenger has opted for overseas players over home grown talent, Denilson was given five years to prove himself at Arsenal whilst Muamba and Larsson were shipped out without any opportunities and in the long run Wenger was proven wrong in letting them go and keeping Denilson. Let us hope that this is not the case with Lansbury.
Lansbury if given the chance will show Arsenal and Wenger what he can do, the question is will Wenger give him that opportunity.
As the transfer deadline draws to a close Arsenal supporters are glued to the web and television screens looking for any sign that the Arshavin saga is over. Rumours on Saturday was that he was London for the West Ham game, it is now reported that the elusive Russina has arrived in London.
Some reports claim he is undergoing a medical and thrashing out personal terms, others claim that a press conference has been arranged for today to unveil Arshavin. There will be the usual “sightings” of Arshavin at Highbury House as there were of Alonso in August.
There is more intrigue and secrecy surrounding this transfer than there is in a Frederick Forsyth novel. The Russians claimed a fee was agreed now they deny it. Wenger said we were 90% there on the deal , then after the West Ham game he says we have 10% of the deal agreed. His agent who throws out more curveball than a top pitcher claims there is a 20% chance of a deal going through. This is so frustrating for us fans, all we want to know is will he join. yes or no? Deadlines have come and gone, but we still do not have our man.
I fear if there is a last minute problem, namely our refusal to pay £15m, then it could too late for Wenger to look at any alternatives. Arsene has stated he has made “serious enquiries” about other players but has not made any bids. Let us hope it is not too late to conclude other transfers, based on our last half a dozen games we need creativity in the team. A few years ago under Dein we would have had the transfer wrapped up two weeks ago.
On the loan front, two more youngsters went out loan recently, Rui Fonte and Henri Lansbury joined Crystal Palace and Scunthorpe United. They join a growing band of Arsenal hopefuls plying their trade around the country looking to gain vital first team experience.
Arsene has stated that certain players will not be going out on loan, these include Randall, Willshere and Gibbs. Notable absentees were Merida and Vela, both of whom will benefit from a loan spell, their first team chances at Arsenal will be restricted especially if we sign Arshavin and our injured players start to return.
Former Arsenal player James Harper’s move to Middlesbrough has been put on hold, this is due to a 25% sell-on clause we inserted into his contract when he joined Reading. Middlesbrough are not prepared to pay the extra money that will cover the sell-on clause.
10:00am – Sky Sports is reporting that Arsenal and Arshavin have FAILED to agree terms and that the deal is OFF. This is crazy, why do we wait until the last moment before we tell his representatives what we are prepared to offer him. If this is true we are an amateur club in terms of trasnfer dealings.