Arsenal fans are gearing themselves for an influx of players, we are waiting with baited breath. We are also aware that the exodus from the Emirates will be a big one this summer. Players who have not made the grade, others who have not had the opportunity and some who think the grass is greener on the other side of the tracks.
Starting at the back, the first player to be shown the door is Manuel Almunia, probably a season too late. Almunia had a nightmare season, at fault against WBA in both games and dropped after each game, Wenger will let Almunia go for anything and I think Almunia will want to get away from the club, he ranks 3rd choice at the moment.
Wenger’s other decision will be whether to bring in an experienced goalkeeper, if he does then either Vito Mannone or more likely Lukas Fabianski will also leave this summer.
In the defensive line, Sebastien Squilaci will be allowed to leave on free transfer if we sign both Samba and Gary Cahill. Squillaci was signed as fourth choice centre-back, but due to injuries to Vermaelen he appeared 32 times for Arsenal. Wenger will keep him as 5th choice centre back if he fails to land both his centre-back targets.
Gael Clichy looks like he will definitely leave this summer. Wenger does not appear to have made any effort to keep the France international and he is right not to open contract discussions with him. The only question is where he will go and the price. Roma appear to be the favourites and the fee around £8M.
Emmanuel Eboue our loveable Ivorian could also be on the way out. I would be sad to see Eboue go, not necessarily for football reason, but he is the joker in the pack, the man who will greet every player at the end of each game, the player who leaves the pitch last. Eboue could be frustrated with his lack of first team opportunities and ask to leave. If he does leave his fee will be around £8M.
Midfield could see several players leave. Denilson has started that he wishes to leave, well the feeling is mutual. This player has been given 5 seasons to prove himself, an opportunity not afforded to Sebastien Larsson or Fabrice Muamba, both of whom are better than Denilson. There will be no tears shed over his departure. Denilson has been offered as a makeweight in our attempts to lure either Willian or Costa from Shaktar Donetsk. The value of Denilson will again be in the region of £8M.
Tomas Rosicky will be allowed to leave and his destination will be the Bundesliga. Rosicky has never recovered from his massive injury. Arsenal have remained loyal to him, but this summer he will be told his is no longer required and will go on a free transfer.
The interesting player is Andrey Arshavin. A player of immense talent; but the laziest player in our current squad. His former club have made noises about buying him back, but the player has stated he does not intend to leave. If Wenger secures Gervinho and one of Willian or Alvarez, Wenger will listen to offers for the Russian in the region of £10M.
The one player we all expect to see leave this summer is Cesc Fabregas, forget about the Barcelona posturing over lack of transfer funds or that Cesc’s value has dropped, Guardiolla is obsessed with Cesc and fee of around £30M plus players will be agreed this summer.
Nicklas Bendtner has made is clear that he wishes to leave and there is interest in the Dane. Bendtner was never given the chance to play as a striker; Wenger was obsessed in playing him on the wing. Bendtner has neither the pace nor the ability to play in the role, Arsenal‘s valuation is £12M and we should stick to this figure.
Another player never to have fulfilled his potential is Carlos Vela. Is Wenger prepared to give him one more season to prove he can make it or will Wenger say its time to say goodbye? There will be plenty of takers in Spain and Vela will have some success there, the fee will be around £6M.
We could see up to 11 players leave this summer; these departures could add £82M to Wenger’s transfer budget which is already reported to be £60M! What players can Wenger bring in with £140M?
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.
Arsene Wenger has announced a 24 man squad for the game against Barnet due to take place at Underhill this Saturday.
As well as regular first team squad players, Almunia, Sagan, Clichy, Walcott, Denilson and Bendtner, two new boys are incluided Aaron Ramsey and Mexican whizz-kid Carlos Vela.
The full squad is:
Manuel ALMUNIA (GK)
Vito MANNONE (GK
Wojciech SZCZESNY (GK)
Full match preview to appear on Friday.