Well this week has been exciting so far. Cazorla is apparently in town for a medical today after being given absence of leave by Malaga yesterday. He’ll be coming over to us for about £16million on a £70,000 a week contract. That pretty much smashes our transfer record and the fact that the guy is 27 makes it all the more exciting. Creative midfielders come into their peak around this age and we’re hopefully about to witness a superb 4 years from an amazing talent.
That’s not us done though. Oh no. Next up will be Nuri Sahin on a season long loan. He was in and out of the Madrid line up last year so he’ll be using Arsenal to rekindle some form and to regain some fitness. I have no idea what the plan will be for the year after. Madrid tend to be over stocked with midfielders, so the might have him back or they might sell him off to us for a good price. You’d imagine we’ve worked out some sort of option to buy.
It’s always a bit of a double edge sword when you bring players in on loan. If they’re incredible, you tend not to get them back. I guess the hope for Arsenal is that even if he is amazing, we’ll have a fully fit Jack Wilshere if he does go. Our young player will also benefit immensely from a season with a top, top player.
Was Baptista the last player we loaned from Madrid?
My main focus is on what happens this year, and so far, our midfield and attacking options are looking extremely positive. We actually have a squad for once. You can’t deny that’s an exciting prospect. We’ve gone from being dependent on one person to having 3 players capable of over 20 goals a season. We’ve gone from being dependent on one man converting half chances, to having a midfielder who can create simple tap ins for multiple players.
Robin shouldn’t be thinking about leaving next season, he should be thinking about staying on without signing a deal. Cazorla is the man who could make him look even better this year. If Robin stays with us, and that back line gets sorted, we could find ourselves contending.
There were some exit rumblings yesterday and they weren’t related to Robin Van Persie. Alex Song was reported as an outcast in The Express and one of the Spanish newspapers reported Barca were interested in tying up a deal with Arsenal inside the next 48 hours. They cited Benayoun as his obvious replacement. Now, media cock ups aside, I’ve been telling you for a while that all is not well with Alex Song. He’s never been described as an outcast (because he’s not), but I’ve been told he doesn’t see his long term future with us. If he’s off, it’ll be a mutual decision for both parties. I’d be fine with it providing we brought in a like for like replacement.
When I say like for like, what I actually mean is we bring in someone who is better. For every Hollywood pass he makes, there are 4 others that go nowhere. When we’re looking at the 49 goals conceded figure, you’d be hard pushed to tell me he’s absolved of responsibility because of his 12 assists. We miss a Gilberto like figure in midfield. There needs to be at least one player in the side who doesn’t want 5 goals a season. Every team needs an anchor who loves to tackle and defend. Alex Song has proved year after year he’s not that man. If Barca want to play him in the Keita role, fantastic, maybe that’ll work out for him… however, I can’t help but think him going there has Alex Hleb written all over it.
We’ll see though!
On the loan front, it seems like Benik Afobe is being shuffled off to Bolton for a season. They’re basically the new Beveren. I like Owen Coyle. I admire his values. He gives our players a good bedding in. He shows them what it’s like on the other side of the game and he sticks loosely to our values of football. I don’t think it’s a graveyard move for Afobe, but one thing is clear to me… if he wants to become an Arsenal player, he needs to bang in at least 18 goals next season.
I did say at the start of the summer we were looking to bring in some proper players this transfer window and so far it looks like we’ve been working on that promise. The players coming in was based on us shifting on the deadwood. What will be interesting is whether we end the summer with a transfer surplus. Will we keep spending under £25million this year? There are still three major players that could go. Robin, Song or Walcott. We could also shift JD, Bendtner, Park and Squillaci. We’ve spent £40million so far. Our TPA was calculated at £54million, but I was told the budget was way less. Will that be true? Who knows… there’s still plenty of summer left to find out!
I’m enjoying what’s going on so far… you should be too!
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See you in the comments.