Day thirteen of the transfer window and Gervinho has been signed, great, but what has happened to the potential centre-back signings?
Chris Samba was to a be a quick buy,improve on our £9M January bid, pay Samba £60K a week and deal done. Blackburn increased the price to £12M and Wenger disappeared. Now Spurs are after Samba offering cash plus players. What is wrong with Wenger, do we want Samba or not? If the answer is yes, then what is £4M to Arsenal? We have sold Clichy for £7M, Wenger has stated we are not in the markewt for a left back,so why not pay the extra £4M? As mentioned before, this Far East tour and the Emirates Cup will net the club over £4M. If we wanted Samba at £8M, then pay he £12M and get the deal done.
Player number two is Gary Cahill. We have been linked with Cahill for two seasons and Wenger is still thinking about the deal. Wenger does not want to pay more than £12M for a player with one season left on his contract (though we are demanding £25M for Nasri!). The issue is not the price, but whether you want the player or not. if you want the player then do the deal and worry about the money later.
A new player we are being linkled with this summer is Per Mertsecker, the Werder Bremen and Germany defender. Again this is not a new rumour, apparently we offered £9M for Mertsecker in January but he wanted to stay and help Werder avoid relegation. Mertsecker is also in his last year of his contract.
Here we have three centre backs, a position that everyone knows we need to sort out, even Wenger went on to say we need to resolve our defensive frailties. If Wenger wants to make a statement of intent, then sorting out the centre back position is his top priority.
If Wenger’s arguement is that Vermaelen’s return is like signing a new centre half, then we have a problem.
If we allow Samba to join Spurs becasue we value Denilson too much to offer him as part of the deal and stump up £9M plus Denilson, then we have a problem.
If having made all the running for Cahill, we baulk at the asking price and sit back and see Chelsea steal Cahill, then we have a problem.
If we sit on our backsides and do not make a move for Mertsecker, then we have a problem.
Arsenal’s defence was frail last season. Squillacci is okay to use every so often, but not regularly. Koscielny is adapting to the Premier League but makes too many mistakes. Djourou looks like a world class defender three out of four gaames, but is sometimes found wanting and flappping. Arsene Wenger has seen all this last season, yet we are still waitng to make our first centre-half signing, and we do need more than one new centre-back.