What is it with French players and Newcastle? First, we had Charles N’Zogbia pleading, begging to come to Arsenal, in reality he was an average player who never set he world on fire at Newcastle. There was no way Wenger was going to spend money on an ordinary squad player.
Now we have a new player trying to flee the northeast and reach the French enclave of Arsenal in north London. The man in question is Sebastien Bassong.
Bassong joined Newcastle from Lille in the summer for £1.5m. It is now reported that Wenger is prepared to spend £10m in the summer to bring him to the Emirates. Bassong is like Kalou, a good player who has not ripped up any tress this season. He has not broken into the France national squad.
“My agent told me about Arsenal’s interest and it would be a lie if I said Arsenal are not a club I’m interested in,” Bassong stated.
Is he any better than Djourou, is he a better prospect than Nordveit or even Senderos, who will be returning in the summer? Wenger can put £10m to better use this summer than spending it on an average centre back.
This is a case of another player trying to get a new deal at his club and using Arsenal to get a salary increase. He is currently on £5,000 a week and is looking for a pay increase.
Bassong stay at Newcastle, this club does not want or need you.
The January transfer window cannot come quickly enough fro Arsene, Arsenal and its fans. That we are still in with a sniff of the title is a minor miracle, but come January that miracle needs to end and we need to bring in players.
Many have been mentioned, in defence Matthew Upson, Phillipe Mexes and van Buyten. Mexes is an old target and the name fits the bill, van Buyten is an experienced player to replace Gallas, whilst Upson would be warmly welcomed back at Arsenal. His first spell was littered with injuries and coincided with the club having Keown and Adams at the back.
Another West Ham player would be a great addition to the squad, Scott Parker. The much travelled central midfielder would add the steel and determination currently missing. Parker works hard, and gets forward, he will be a similar player to Flamini.
It is well known that West Ham are strapped financially and despite the protestations from the Hammers, if Arsenal lodged a £12M-£15M bid for Upson and Parker both would be on their way to Arsenal.
Further afield, Velosso’s agent claims that his client will be moving in January for £6M. This is the player Arsenal tried to sign in the summer for £16M, but finances are tight at Sporting we are no longer in a seller’s market.
Arsene also has eyes on Standard Liege attacking midfielder Defour. He is another youngster at 22, but will give us the width and trickery that we are missing especially now that Rosicky is unlikely to feature at all this season and Walcott is not due back until March. The fee for Defour could be as high as £9M.
If Arsene allows Vela to move on loan in January and Bendtner is sold, we will be short of strikers. We should not need to look far for a striker and at a knock down price of £4m. The striker in question is Newcastle’s Michael Owen. He will leave on a free transfer in the summer, so Newcastle will be reluctant to let him leave for nothing. Owen is a player much admired by Arsene over the years and this will be the last chance to get him. Newcastle boss Kinnear has been an admirer of Song and Denilson, if Wenger brings in Velosso and Parker, he can let Denilson go which will sweeten the Geordies into lettign Owen leave.
There was a board meeting at Arsenal this week and the transfer budget was discussed and agreed. Do not be surprised to see Arsene being brutal in January; our form has had him annoyed this season and last time we were in such a mess he went out and bought Diaby, Adebayor and Walcott for a combined cost of £22M.
Do not be shocked if Arsene culls certain players and brings in foru to five players. Apart from Velosso the others are all eligible for the Champions League. If Wenger buys all five, the total cost will be in the region of £30M, less the money recouped on the sale of Bendtner, Gallas and Denilson, then the net cost will be £22M and we will have stronger squad.
January promises to be an interesting window for the Gunners, Arsene knows he blew it in the summer he will not do so again.
Philippe Senderos is about to end his ignominious career at Arsenal, the only questions to be answered is where will he go and why has it taken Wenger so long to realise his frailties.
Arsenal are in talks with Newcastle, AC Milan and one other club, so far not named, to discuss the imminent transfer of the Swiss defender. Newcastle have made on of £6M, but Arsenal are holding out for £8M. The mystery third club is believed to be Juventus.
A deal with Juventus could suit Arsenal as there is a certain Portuguese midfielder who has Premiership experience who will fit into Wenger’s midfield. Tiago, the former Chelsea, has been in talks with Everton and has today turned down a loan deal. This leaves him open to an approach from Arsenal. Tiago had a good spell at Chelsea and was forced to leave Stamford Bridge as part of the Essien deal. He will be a great acquisition for Arsenal.
As for Senderos, well after a good start to his career he has had a torrid time, always looking nervous and never putting any fans at rest. We all knew he was one moment away from disaster, fans look at Senderos and see him panicking, he is like a rabbit caught in headlights. Last season Wenger dropped him for Song and that made his mind up that it was time to let the Swiss defender leave. This summer has seen Djourou move ahead of Senderos, whilst the signing of Silvestre was the final nail in coffin of the Swiss centre back.
There will be no tears shed for Senderos, but plenty of cheer if Tiago joins us.