Nasri leaves for £24M, to add to the departures of Cesc £35M, Eboue £4M and Clichy £7M. That is £70M so far, with Bendtner (£9M), Arshavin (£7M) , Squillaci (£1M) and Almunia (Free) to follow. Arsene’s total sales could generate nearly £87M. Yes Arsenal fans look at that number £87M generated through sales this summer. In addition Arsenal’s coffers have been increased by the Asia Tour and the Emirates Cup to the tune of £6M, in addition to the lucrative sponsorship deals concluded with Indesit, Carlsberg, O2, Citreon and Betsson this summer. The money does not stop there, Arsenal sold the Queensland Road development for £25M, and the sales of the remaining flats at Highbury Square continue to bring in revenue to the club.
As mentioned several times before, Arsenal had a cash balance of over £100M in November, with the second half of the season likely to add to that mountain of cash.
Arsenal FC is awash with cash. The UEFA Financial Fair Play rules will not prevent us or any other big club from playing in Europe, this is a smokescreen put up be Wenger and the board, UEFA will not prevent Manchester City from competing in Europe that is a fact and time will prove me correct.
The recent departures and proposed departures have also reduced our weekly wage bill by over £450K a week.
Our new additions have come at a total outlay of £19M and total wages of no more than £120K a week.
Arsene is now set for what should be a massive spending spree, he has the transfer cash and the wages to entice Scott Dann, Christopher Samba, Mikel Arteta and Mauro Zarate, these four players will cost us a total of £46M but will re-invigorate the squad, they will refresh the squad and add the extra spark that has been missing.
It appears that Wenger and the board are waiting to see what happens tomorrow in Italy, but regardless of the result Arsenal need to strengthen and this needs to start on Thursday morning.
Whilst it’s still early in pre-season and players are still finding their feet, some patterns are emerging after two games.
Wenger’s early acquisition Carl Jenkinson looks a good buy. He never put a foot wrong in either game. As the pre=season friendlies move up a level it will be interesting how he copes against Cologne and Benfica. Jenkinson can expect to start the Carling Cup and even push Sagna in the league. To fully develop as a player, Jenkinson should be on the bench against teams like Wolves, West Brom and Norwich giving Wenger the option to blood him if things are going well.
The other flank is a bit of a worry and I think Wenger will have to go back on his word and recruit a left-back. Traore still looks unsure as a left-back and this was against two inferior teams. If Gibbs is injured at any time, and that looks inevitable, Traore will be exposed at the back and we will be in trouble. The two options to Wenger are Jose Enrique from Newcastle United or the logical solution is to accept Eric Abidal as part of the Fabregas deal. Abidal can offer advice to Gibbs and adequate cover anywhere along the back. This is the type of move that might appeal to Wenger.
At centre-half we saw the nightmare that could unfold next season, Squillaci. This is his last year at Arsenal, but Wenger should offer him a free transfer and route back to France. It is not that he is the worse centre-back we have had in recent years, it is just that his presence causes panic amongst the other centre-backs. Wenger needs to cut his losses with Squallaci and press home the move for Cahill in the forthcoming week. We have no option but to come to an agreement over Cahill and the sooner the better.
Arsenal’s midfield performances proved that Nasri playing in the playmaker role is the ideal position for Samir. Whether we see him playing in that role in an Arsenal shirt next season remains to be seen. In both games we saw the emergence and further development of Ramsey as great midfielder. Ramsey and Wilshere complement each other in the middle; both are creative, tough tackling and always looking to go forward. I would like to see Ramsey, Wilshere and Nasri start against Cologne,
From both games so far and also for most of last season, what is become apparent is that Rosicky has lost it. He is not the creative playmaker, he slows the game down too often and his passes are wayward and without thought. Playing Rosicky against Brimingham in the Carling Cup was one of Arsene’s biggest mistakes. As with Denilson we need to cut our losses with Rosicky and let him go. We need to look at bringing in another midfielder this summer plus promote both Henri Lansbury and Emmanuel Frimpong to the first team squad.
The striker options looked a bit threadbare for Arsenal. Wenger must be looking at either another striker or playing Walcott or Vela upfront, though neither will be able to play the sole striker role that our 4-1-4-1 / 4-2-3-1 formation requires.
It has been reported this week-end that Arsenal sent Richard Law to Costa Rica to negotiate the signing of 19 year old Joel Campbell from Saprissa. Gunnerblog have reported that the player’s father has stated the clubs have agreed a fee in the region of £2M and that the player will join on a 5 year deal. If Arsenal are able to get a work permit for Campbell, then he will wear the number 12 shirt. The only question will this 19 year old be the answer to providing sufficient back-up to van Persie and Chamakh.
Wenger made a bold statement on Monday; Nasri is not going anywhere this summer. When asked whether he was going to sign a new contract, Wenger said he hopes so but it is not up to Wenger. We have, reportedly, on the table offers from Manchester City and Manchester United in the region of £20M; in addition there is interest from Italy. Alex Ferguson has gone on record to state that Nasri will not join Manchester United and that he has agreed terms with another club (this could be Arsenal, but I doubt it).
So what is Arsene’s plan? Does he hope that we will start the season like a runaway train and by October having swept all before us; Nasri comes to his senses and signs a new contract? This is a massive gamble by Wenger.
Are the board really prepared to kiss goodbye to £20M, knowing that come January Nasri can sign a pre-contract agreement and leave for zero next summer. Then next summer we will have to spend £20M to replace Nasri. The board is under a duty of care to its shareholders to prevent this sort of scenario occurring.
Whilst this statement from Wenger has forced Manchester United to look elsewhere and has stabilised the squad for the current tour, I do not believe that the neither board nor Wenger will let Nasri stay at Arsenal if he has not signed a new contract this summer.
The loss of Nasri now, will be such a huge blow to the squad that we will not recover in time for the start of the season, especially as Wenger appears reluctant to sign any player, never mind a real playmaker in the mould of Nasri or Fabregas.
Do not be surprised to see the Nasri sale sneak through on transfer deadline day and Wenger will then spend the autumn and winter months saying he was unable to bring in a replacement in such a short period of time.
Yes Wenger is purely duping us over Nasri so that there is no massive uproar as we sell both Cesc and Nasri, whilst bringing nobody in other than promoting young Frimpong and Lansbury.
The long awaited signing of Gervinho is to be announced this afternoon, with the Ivory Coast striker undergoing a medical at Arsenal. Terms between the player and the between the clubs have been agreed, so unless there is something that crops up in the medical, Gervinho will be our first signing of the summer.
Gervinho will add pace, aggression and flexibility, as he will be able to play anywhere along the front-line. A good addition the squad.
Arsenal fans have been looking forward to a some good news this summer, and hopefully this is only the start of the buying season for Arsenal.
It has been reported that Nasri gave Gervinho glowing reports about Arsenal and that they are friends. Could this be the signing that proves to Nasri that we are moving in the right direction or do we need to bring in Cahill too before Nasri commits to a new contract, even if the contract is conditional as were the Henry and Cole contracts.
Any other signings will be either this week, prior to the Asia tour or in a fortnights time when the squad returns.