So the big, fat, exciting news that had us all glued to whatever social network was talking about it was the story of Yann M'Vila. The journalists finally caught up with the story and suggested the deal was going to be struck at £17million. Julien Laurens, who apparently has a a direct line into M'Vila said the deal was going ahead. Matt Spiro (who told us all how average Park was against the grain last year) also confirmed he was coming. Then the Telegraph, then the Mail (haha! I know, I did reference them). Then Phillipe Auclair waded in and said that no offer had been made and he was unsure one would as he's too expensive, violent and in poor form (what a reference). Where this story goes today is anyone's guess.
Sadly, I have no steer on this one. All I know is that we've been in talks about a big name Ligue One star since February. I'd be quite surprised if we didn't land him. He ticks all the Wenger boxes bar the price. It's also interesting that we have a defensive midfielder who has performed quite well this year... yet we're replacing him with someone else. I wonder why?
The Daily Mail (sorry) are saying that he is set to hold talks with the club about his future, he'll be seeking assurances over his place in the team with the imminent purchase, perhaps, of someone 4 year younger. Now, some are suggesting that Song is going to move into a more advanced position next season. That won't have come from anywhere within the club. Probably people picking it up from me communicating it as my biggest fear for the last 4 months.
Anyway... from what I've been hearing, that's unlikely to be the case as we'll be looking to fill that creative void left by Cesc this summer with, errr, a creative player. Not a free creative player either. A top notch one.
It's clear to me that Jack Wilshere isn't a Cesc Fabregas. He can be creative, but he loves to be in the thick of it. He's like a half breed between Makelele and Cesc. I'm just not sure he's the type who'll grab us 20 assists a season. I might be wrong, but for me, he sits smack bang in the middle of the park. Not in a more advance role. Alex Song is not better in the middle of the park than Jack Wilshere. He's certainly not good enough to be our creative force all season, so I wonder what the coach has in store for him if he's looking elsewhere for the creative spark next year?
Again... Darren Dein is his agent, Real Madrid stories emanting in the press, clear the air talks are in the Mail... M'Vila is nearly in. It all looks very interesting doesn't it?
Our forward line is going to be interesting next season. One thing we haven't had for a while is proper experience. I'm sure Wenger noted how a 34 year old veteran of the Premier League came into the side and scored some important goals for us last season. If he keeps hold of Robin Van Persie, I think the vibe is quite strong for Clint Dempsey. He's 29, he works incredbily hard and he's got to that age where he's found his shooting boots.
The key to having a good strike force is to have a mix of skillsets. Clint Dempsey will put his head on anything, he'll hussle in the same way Adebayor used to and he's more than happy to let fly from distance. He has that last twenty work ethic that can lift a team. Very similar to Rooney in that sense. Outside him, I'm not sure what we'll do. Giroud looks like one of the hottest strikers in Europe at the moment, but with all these other big dollar moves we're looking at I wonder if he'd be in budget? Joel Campbell could be a nice third option, but is he too raw like Afobe?
Like I said the other day... for all the Chamberlain hype, it's clear he wasn't ready this year. Let's not make a similar mistake with Campbell and Afobe.
I think if we know Robin is off the year after (a very big if that he's not off this year), we need to be signing our 2013 man now. We can't buy in someone next summer and just hope they'll come good straight away. There's a fine balancing act to this summers dealings. I just hope we get it right for once. We haven't managed to in well over 7 years now.
We also need to show the same desire to bring players in as we will to boot them out. Let's not haggle up all summer and screw our plans. Get rid of them early doors.
- Vela £8million
- Denilson £3million
- Bendtner £6million
- Almunia £freeeeeeeeee
- Fabainski £3million
- Mannone £500,000
- Squillaci £500,000
- JD £4,000,000
- Diaby £4,000,000
- Song £25,000,000
- Chamakh £5million
- Park £2million
- Andrey £5mill (Update, not considered in the sums)
That's £61,000,000 you could recoup at bottom of the barrel prices (bar Song, but he's had a good season), plus another £595,000 a week you free up in wages. Factor in the £50million you have from the summer... well, you can work it out. That's a great summers rebuilding you could manage with plenty of freed up squad places.
I know people will say that these players won't leave on the salaries they're on. Well, that's only true if we're charging too much to let them go. If wages and transfer fee are counted as one with football clubs... we might have to budge on our valuation. There's no financial sense in not moving on a £12million Bendtner fee if you're going to have to pay half his salary over the year. Move them on.
As for the Vertonghen story. Here is the issue as I see it. He's in the last year of his deal. He thinks he should go for a pittance. If he goes for half his price, he'll want double his salary. That's not going to work at Spurs as they have a strict structure in place. That's unlikely to happen at Arsenal. However, he'll get what he wants at City or United. I also don't believe it's his dream to play for Spurs. Didn't Hazard say something equally as bizarre a few months ago?
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Anyway, as you can see, I've once again solved all of Arsenal's problems this summer in under 1000 words. How would you make it happen for us next year?