Yeah... that's me... a happy Gooner rolling in transfers. What a bloody day eh?! The best day since time began? Or maybe just the best summer in 5 years? Either way, all the right things began to happen yesterday!
Now, there was obviously disappointment yesterday morning when everyone thought I was telling lies about Yann M'Vila, but then later that day, the backpage of the Evening Standard ran the story pretty much word for word and The Times are reporting the same this morning. Now, they've either got someone telling them the same things, or they've got a penchant for a daily dose of Le Grove. Either outcome is pleasing. Like I said yesterday, watch this space. We could easily spend £60million today and not bat an eye lid.
Simple fact is, Alex Song not the one and he'll be off next summer. Frimpong is a very good prospect, but he needs guidance. Whichever way you look at it, we need a defensive midfielder today. We're desperately short in the middle.
We landed Per Mertesacker yesterday after he completed a medical. Andre Santos was also doing the same. There were a few articles floating about online that stated he'd changed his mind and flown back to Turkey to sign a 4 year deal. I'd be very surprised if that were the case!
Per Mertesacker was a massive curve ball yesterday, but ultimately a fantastic one. He's a player we've been calling for on Le Grove since before June 2008. We reported that he was a Gooner way back then here, 3 years on, whaddya know, he's going to be turning out at the home of football!
He's 6ft6, he's built powerfully, he has 70+ caps for a very solid German team, he's won trophies, he has Champions League experience and he knows how to defend. Rumour has it we've picked him up for £9million. What a price!
This is the sort of player we should always be in for. He has pedigree, he has presence and he'll slot in perfectly next to Thomas Vermaelen. We have a genuine little and large combination. We have a defender who has played the highline for club and country and we've done something crazy... signed a tall player to deal with our fear of high flying balls!
Sacrebleu! <- Does that mean what I think it does?
I'm very pleased.
Park Chu-Young signed for us officially yesterday. The South Korean captain joins us under a cloud of 'who the f**k', but the key point here is versatility and hard word. Mainly hard work though. Arshavin and Rosicky showed at the weekend that they're not cut out for Arsenal when crunch time comes. We need someone who is going to work for their salary, this guy will. Does he have the required quality? I'm not sure... but if he can bag 12 goals for a relegated Monaco, I'd hope for something similar or better for a team capable of teeing him up with far more chances.
Oh, and he takes the number 9 shirt. You knew that already though, right?
There are big rumours we're looking to add the American to our attacking line up. Whilst he's not world-class, he's a very good player with a superb eye for goal. He has that aggravation factor and a terrific work rate. You don't need all your players to be La Masia schooled. Sometimes you just need a player who is direct, in your face and not afraid to ruffle a few feathers. He scored 14 goals for Fulham last year and he was very impressive. I'd welcome him into our squad and word on the South American street is that we've tabled a $16.8million bid for him.
Have Bolton burned their bridges in negotiations for a player they'll lose on a free if they don't get rid of him today? We've signed a centre back already. That puts the pressure on Gartside's hugely indebted club to do a deal today. I think we're still in for him. Johann Djourrou has been so bad over the past 6 months, you wonder for his future. Cahill is still a top defender and regardless of how many people tell you he's rubbish, he's not, he'd make a great addition to the squad.
I still remember how many people told me Ashley Young wasn't Arsenal quality... some statement eh?
There were a lot of rumblings about the shower bully from Blackburn. I have my doubts. The rumours feel more like stories designed to get him a move away from Steve Kean. He'd be a useful addition, but we've already filled the role of 'massive beast', if we get another centre back, they'll be good on the ground and stylish... Like a break dancer.
The creative hole?
There's a massive hole in our side, that's the one left by Cesc Fabregas. If there's going to be a monster signing today, I'd love it to come there. Yossi looks like he's off to Spurs, so good luck to him, quality player, poor injury record. That leaves us with the prospect of Gotze or Hazard. There will probably be another curve ball thrown there, but I'm struggling to see where it's coming from. The German might be pulled away from his club for £35million and a massive salary, I'm not sure though, it would be a bad move for Dortmund but I guess it depends on how much they want the cash. They're not flush!
My money is on Arteta. Like Yossi, top quality, just not so much on the fitness side of things. I'd also be interested in Frank Ribery. He was once a £60million player, then his mates bought him a 17 year old hooker, now he's not quite as popular. He'd be amazing in the Premiership. He'd replace Nasri perfectly. Could we move for him? I'd love it... who knows! Sky are reporting that Honda is in London for a medical... it's all too much!
I was told that two medicals were booked yesterday, two more for today. Make of that what you will!
It's a shame it took an absolute spanking to push the board and Arsene Wenger into some serious action. Nearly all of this business could have been conducted in June. I don't believe all these players have been targets all summer, we've just shown intent and made things happen because careers are on the line.
Still, that's a story for another day.
We're developing a strong core to the team now. We could make top 4 if we make 2-3 signings of intent again today. Amazing how quickly things can change eh? The squad will be revitalised and fans will be excited for the Swansea game. A morale booster for everyone!
My worry though, is that we're once again in a transition year. This sort of frenzied 48 hours should never have happened and if we'd made purchases like this 2 years ago, who knows who'd still be here fighting it out in the first team.
Anyway, it's the last day of transfer rumours. There won't be a live blog, the comments section will going mental all day, tune in, you can get far more info than 140 characters into a comment and all the stories will come direct to you all day from the Grovers! Life is very exciting!
P.S. For some further reading and listening, check out Tim Payton in the Independent talking business models(I'm not talking topless Staples Girls) and the Footy Shows Podcast starring king of AKB's, Bob Wilson!
[twitter-follow screen_name='LeGrove' show_count='yes']
- Keisuke Honda in for a medical according to Sky Reports