M’Vila isn’t Arsenal’s first choice defensive midfielder | Ivan, £10mill was chump change 10 years ago

by & filed under Transfers.

Martinez - The love child of Torres and Tevez

Good morning Grovers!

Well, it’s not a good morning. It’s a horrible morning. It’s quite possibly the most miserable start to a June I can rememeber. And that’s forgetting the weather…

Badum tschhhh!

Just jokes people.

It’s all deadly quiet on the transfer front. Arsenal and their master plan of waiting for the rest of the league to get worse seems to be in full swing. Ivan Gazidis knows that you’ve got to do your business early, which either means he just knows that’s what you’re supposed to do and he’s not doing it. Or we’ve done all our business already.

I thought it was telling that he said in his press release that the signing of Podolski was pivotal. Why was it pivotal? Nice. Yes. But pivotal we signed a wide man? I’m not sure that would ever be pivotal unless of course you’re selling Robin Van Perise.

Which I hope we’re not. There’s no noise around Manchester City and there’s none of the usual rumblings and fanfare you associate with a Spanish club wanting one of your players. It doesn’t feel like it’s cut and shut with this deal. I still think there’s a chance he might stay and from the people I speak to around the Emirates tea rooms… no one knows.

England play France on Monday. I remember back in the day when we were all calling for Arsenal to go out and sign Karim Benzema. You’d be amazed at how many people from around the web shot that suggestion down at the time. Now look at him… absolutely flying as one of the best strikers in the business.

Is it me, or do Arsenal have one of the only fan bases in the world who detest the thought of spending big money on a player? Now, I’m not saying everyone. But the amount of times I read people slagging off a club for paying big money for a player, or having a pop at a players wages.

Take Kagawa for instance. That guy in two seasons has landed two Bundasliga titles, scored 38 goals and helped out with a further 12 goals. He’s 23 years old. One of the best attacking midfielders plying their trade in Europe… and people were sniffing at a price tag of £14million up front moving to possibly £17million.

What’s that all about?

Gazidis has a part to play in this. He said the other night that he doesn’t feel a club shows ambition by signing a £30million player. He also said ten years ago £10million was a massive transfer fee. Let’s go through a bit of transfer history for Ivan.

  • Dennis Bergkamp – £7.5million – 1995 (A club with £14 a year commercial revenues back then)
  • Alan Shearer – £15million – 1996
  • Nic Anelka – £22.5million – 1999
  • Veron – £28.1million – 2001
  • Ferdinand – £29.8million – 2002
  • Crespo – £35.5million- 2000
  • Denilson – £21.5million – 1998
  • Zidane – £53million – 2001

As you can see, 10 years ago, a £10million transfer was just as paltry as it is now. Man up Ivan. Spending £30million on a player doesn’t necessarily show ambition. Bottling out of signing a player because they cost more than £15million shows that you have no ambition to compete at the top level of football.It shows your best players that you’re not serious about becoming the best and it shows that you’re cash hoarders.

It’s not like we’re Everton here. We know there’s a £50million slush fund available. We know we’re spending £50million more a season on player wages than Spurs, yet they seem to have more ‘superstars’ than us.

Again, I know I’m bagging on Ivan here when we all know the real problem is the only man who can sanction deals.


You don’t give a manager total trust and then tell him he can’t spend £17million on Yann M’Vila. Wenger is stuck in 1998, not Ivan Gazidis. Well, that’s my opinion anyway.

Also, a little snippet I heard… the reason we might not be so double keen for the French defensive midfielder is because we’ve got our sights set on Javier Martinez of Athletic Bilbao. He fits the bill. Super star Spaniard. Fast, technically amazing, can play centre half if called upon to do so. The move feels a bit out of our league, but we’re looking at him. Which excites me. I can’t see us paying the reported £30mill for him… and if I’m honest, we’ll probably end up with Biglia (sounds like something you’d buy off a weed counter in Amsterdam), but rest assured people, we’ve definitly lodged a £4.5million bid for the best defensive midfielder in Europe.

Right, that’s all I have for you today.

P.S. Did you see all that Harry Redknapp stuff? I told you he was unhappy at Spurs on the 21st. Isn’t it funny… Daniel Levy won’t offer him more than a 1 year deal. Have that ‘Arry!

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546 Responses to “M’Vila isn’t Arsenal’s first choice defensive midfielder | Ivan, £10mill was chump change 10 years ago”

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  1. incesc

    Cesc AppealJune 8, 2012 21:51:30
    Until we sign someone decent we can’t afford to let Arshavin go.

    Would you rather see Ramsey as our creative force or Arshavin.

    its madness how many players we need to replace

    chamakh, park, 2nd keeper, rvp, arshavin, cesc, maybe song, maybe walcott benayoun.

    1 so far.

  2. Lordbergkamp

    BacaryisGod – bollocks, a good player is a good player! Arshavin doesn’t suddenly change!

    It’s his environment and the way he’s treated. He’s class in this European and has been class back in Russia, He’s a classy passer.

    Wenger cannot accommodate him in his rigid tactics, Sad.

  3. Gunner2301


    I’m not knocking you and you’re post was good for the most part but regardless of who we sign it will not make a great deal of difference if the tactics and training do not change. You have Kos and TV in your team still who shipped 49 last season (as well as other CBs) so something has to change in the way we defend. They’re not bad CB individually but our team defensively is a shambles. The high line is killing us, we are always exposed on the left, don’t defend from the front and Wenger doesn’t want to change that.

    I don’;t understand how you see Chesney as a top class keeper? 😯
    Don’t believe the hype and the confidence he has on show he’s average at best maybe in the future he will be great who knows but not at the moment and the majority of the PL keepers are better than him.



  4. Cesc Appeal


    agreed, if you look down the team desperately we need a GK back up RB, CB. CDM, AM, ST and a proper winger.

    CB + CDM could be achieved with Martinez. But I doubt we’ll meet the price tag

    We need a scary amount of INS this summer

    Martinez, Afellay, Dembele, Giroud, Jaaska would be a super summer.

    If we go for M’Vila we need to add a CB to that list

  5. K.C.

    Arshavin looked wonderful in his preferred position today. It’s a real shame Wenger chose not to play him there for us. How is it that some of our loaned out players have more talent than ones on our bench? Arshavin > Ramsey/Rosicky. Vela > Park/Chamakah.

  6. Cesc Appeal


    No. He’s referring to rehab after his op in Sweden.

    The cocaine thing is total rubbish. Utter rubbish. Hence why none of the papers have touched it. All crappy sites on the net/twitter

  7. Keyser

    LordBergkamp – He’s right, Arshavin does change, he can get older ?!

    Of course he’s better in Russia, the league’s nowhere near the standard of the Premiership, Internationally, there are no real tactics for Arshavin, he can do what he wants and the rest of the team has to adjust to that.

  8. Cesc Appeal


    I wouldn’t be upset at all to see Vela and Arshavin given a proper go at Arsenal…if we’re not going to buy (looks likely we won’t).

  9. Gunner2301


    I didn’t see your earlier post but i’ve got to disagree with you on Chesney and it’s not often that i disagree with you but that’s football.

  10. BacaryisGod

    Lord Bergkamp

    You missed my point. I said we want him to be something he’s not at the top of my post, but I also think he has to take some share of the responsibility. It’s clear he hasn’t dedicated himself to being as fit and sharp as he could be. That might partly be down to Arsene’s rigid formation, but also comes down to how a player adapts to being moved a little outside his comfort zone.

  11. Keyser

    Gunner2301 – Sorry mate, but do you actually read the articles you put up ?!

    If you look at us last season, defensively, offensively whatever the over-riding thing you should take from any aspect is consistentcy/ inconsistentcy, apart from Van Persie and Koscielny that’s what everything else screams of.

    Defensively we can concede 49 goals and yet keep what 11, 12 ? clean sheets.

    It’s like the highline comment, from desigunners stats our highline actually works quite well, or it seems to be ?!

  12. BacaryisGod


    I’m in agreement on the defensive side of things, but part of that is down to having a deeper squad and strong additions like M’Vila to protect them. To be fair, Vermaelen can look naive at times, and Song’s main weakness is his lack of pace and mobility. A player like M’Vila would make a world of difference. We also had players this season (Ramsey, Jenkinson etc) who should have been used far less than they were and it left us exposed in a number of key games.

    Arteta and Song were able to compensate for Ramsey, but a midfield three of Song, Rosicky and Ramsey was a disaster in terms of controlling games and protecting our defence.

  13. Basil's Brush

    Wenger can’t create a team who can defend properly.
    Wenger can’t motivate players anymore (see Arshavin tonight).
    Wenger has no tactical aptitude at all.
    Wenger is obsessed with signing players of Afro-French Origin.
    Wenger awards stupidly outrageuos contracts to players who are either average (at best) or extremely injury prone.
    Wengers earns in excess of £6m PA for this…. lol

  14. incesc

    lol he really did Arse&Nose

    but people need a reason to get angry.

    Arshavin had a good game, FUCK U WENGER!!!

  15. Keyser

    Did you see the stats desigunner had ?!

    Sorry maybe it’s because I’m too antagonistic, but your article doesn’t really support your comment.

    It’s like all these people on here saying Arshavin’s playing well because it’s his preferred position, it’s like saying Chamakh really needs to be played up front with us throwing 20-30 crosses at him every game.

  16. Keyser

    incesc – After 7 years I suppose frustration builds to a point where you lose it a bit, either that or Le Grove really does attract the most pessimistic of fans.

  17. Gunner2301


    It’s a domino effect throughout the team. The front line don’t defend from the front. The midfield don’t close the man down with the ball quick enough allowing them to pick a pass. The pass normally puts our defensive high line under pressure and we make defensive mistakes (TV) and concede. The attacking midfield (Rosicky with 2 goals) don’t do enough to supply the front line (Walcott suffering too) we are crying out for a Cesc. This then means Song moves out of position to assist up field as well as TV and again we are exposed by a ball over the top with only 1 defender back.

    This to me says that we have no collective sense of defence. Individually the players we have are good but you need the teamwork and tactics defensively to make the good great and we don’t have that at the moment.

    The formation Wenger plays requires that we play a high line and retain posession. If we lose posession and don;t win it back quickly the system is vulnerable. Barca are so good at it because they retain posession and win the ball back quickly or close the player down quickly with the ball (with a swarm of players) so the player has no options for a pass. This is where we are failing largely because we don’t have the quality midfielders it would take to retain possession and win back possession in that way. Those kind of midfielders cost money and Wenger is trying to do it on the cheap and like project youth this hasn’t worked either.

    Ramsey is appauling and shouldn’t be in the team yet. Wengers persistence with sub standard players and his failure to change things quickly that aren’t working is killing us as a team.

  18. Keyser

    That post was quality, and that sums it up well, I don’t see why you resort to trivial hyperbole when you can post stuff like that.

    I wouldn’t really blame the highline, we dropped deeper with Mertesacker anyway, we catch more players offside than at least any of the top teams, it’s all about how much pressure we place on the last line of defence.

    When you look at Wilshere, Fabregas and Nasri, that should pretty much point to our exact problems.

    Those 3 or a combination of their skills and abilities is what we miss.

    Arteta covered well for Wilshere, but he’s not young enough to carry the same verve.

    Blame Wenger for the transfer window, I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on tactics, people have trouble understanding them as it is.

    We simply have players we won’t be able to get much more out of, which is why Arshavin outside of his comfort zone looks soo lost.

  19. Keyser

    Also Barca cracked this year because their squad simply isn’t as good as Madrid’s, after whoever many games of success they simply tired and let Madrid overtake them.

    That should at least give you some idea of what it takes nowadays, you can slaughter Wenger for ‘biblically proportioned wastage’, but when it comes down to it, we could work to our maximum and still lose out the way the leagues going.

  20. incesc


    what if out of the 3 british midfielders wenger is developing (oxo, wilshere and ramsey) the first 2 go on to have the massive careers expected then does it matter that one doesnt look like he will?

    wouldnt be bad work by the old guy would it?

    ramsey can still be back up and has a lot of time to get better but this season was clearly too much for him

  21. Gunner2301


    I agree we catch a lot of teams with the offside trap and we are probably the highest at succeeding there. Mertesacker when he has made mistakes is when he’s had to turn and get back or he gets turned and outpaced. If we sat as deep as Chelsea for instance Mertesacker would be fine and show more than he has up until now.

    As you pointed out we are sort of on a fine line which accounts for the erratic appearance of our defending like the offside trap either it works or it fails spectacularly the difference being good teams can expose these weaknesses and we don;t really change to adapt to this.

    Arshavin I believe was a mixture of things: –
    Russia failing to qualify for the WC – He was depressed and took a long time to recover.
    Moving to a new country obviously he had problems settling.
    Being played out of position and having to do defensive work – Something he wasn’t used to and defending he wasn’t great at.
    He was used as a sub a lot of the time – It took him time to get going in games.
    Dressing room unrest – With all the upheaval of key players leaving it must have been a strain for all the players.
    Loss of Belief – His quips about Wenger making substitutions on 65 mins regardless and other comments made it clear he wasn’t convinced by Wengers methods.
    Loss of motivation – Once he lost belief he lost motivation and I don’t think Wenger is good at motivating unmotivated players.
    Complacency – The fact that Wenger plays players no matter how they perform you could see Arshavin had a number of shit games but still got played other times he played well but didn’t get a game.

    So I believe it was a mixture of things. Playing him in his favoured position would have helped him a lot and we are seeing what a player he can be since he’s been on loan.

  22. Dan Ahern

    I love Euros.

    Being an Arsenal supporter is like having a tough job. It’s rewarding when it goes well, but my god is it stressful.
    Euros is like vacation. You just kick back and enjoy a great time.

  23. Keyser

    Gunner2301 – Our offside line has been one of the best for years we do it well consistently, look at desigunners stats, they are backed up by opta ones that get quoted during games, it’s something we are good at.

    It’s how many times the line is tested that needs to be addressed, also at the same time it’s the natural games our competitors play against us they sit back to attack quickly on the break. like it has been for years it centres around our midfield and our ability to break down stubborn defences.

    Also people stating 49 goals like this should be shocking considering the year we’ve had need to think a lot harder about what the years been like.

    1/6th of those goals or thereabouts were conceded in 1 game for example.

    The Arshavin thing, that’s just the nature of football now, that’s what you can get for 17 million, I’d place the onus on Arshavin mainly, people are soo wrapped up in what Wenger’s got out of players in the past that they don’t see football today for what it is.

    Arshavin’s 30, he moved from a far less physical league to probably the most demanding, he’s small and he’s not going to get much protection from the refs, there’s only soo much Wenger can do to accomodate his weakneses.

    A player like Arshavin is unpredicatable it’s what makes him great it’s also his biggest weakness, he can do nothing all game, or score 4 goals from 4 shots, that’s obviously an extreme as we’ve seen, but that’s who he is.

    Wenger tried what he could, before finally deciding he’s needs to fight for his place.

  24. Gunner2301


    The way I look at it is we need the team to be 100% to compete. Which means players playing who are ready to play. Wilshire had a storming season and is ready to contribute, AOC needs to be eased in but looks like he will be contributing fully after next season. Ramsey needs to be on loan as does Jenkinson.

    The problem is Wenger doesn’t recognise these things, Wherever there is a weakness in the team we lose a few %. Ramsey -10%, AOC-3%, Jenkinson -5%. You can also include below par performances from key players which erode the percentage. The cumulative effect is that the chances of success for the team is lowered as we move away from the optimum 100%.

    Do I think we should be playing youngsters? Not really unless they are just about ready and they should challenge top players for their position. I might be able to forgive the blooding of youngsters if the intention was to keep them long term, but we know it isn’t. The more experience we can pile on them the more CL they play even though they might not be ready the better it looks on their CV when it comes time to offer them up for sale.

    So in effect the way we are run we are damaging the prospects of the teams success to force a few youngsters through who we can then place in the shop window and sell on.

    What if we get rid of a player and he comes good? This argument is always thrown in. My response to that is why should we care? We care about the team not individuals and the teams success not the success of individuals.

    If we were dealing with players that can contribute now, today and that’s the way it always was i.e. as one left we replaced with another just as good who could contribute today.

    If you look at it this way would you miss any player that left and went on to better things? I wouldn’t Why? Because it’s always a gamble and the percentages say they won’t necessarily turn out good it’s a roulette wheel some you lose and some you don’t. But players that are established give you a higher chance of a return and they contribute straight away.

    Has any of the youngsters we had and got rid of turned out to be any good since Wenger has been there? I can’t think of any. I know there are a lot we should have bought and didn’t i.e YAYA, Ronaldo etc We haven’t fallen off the map because we didn’;t get them?

    What you really need to remember is that under this current regime, YOU WILL NEVER GET THE BEST YEARS FROM THESE PLAYERS ANYWAY BECAUSE THEY ARE BEING PRIMED TO BE SOLD.

    We get left with the average who are settled in their comfort zone and who evangelise about the manager ala Djourou. That’s what Arsenal is really about the players they can sell on for massive profit and the dross that’s left behind that doesn’t want to leave because they;’ve got it good.

  25. Keyser

    “Playing him in his favoured position would have helped him a lot and we are seeing what a player he can be since he’s been on loan.”

    This to me is annoying, you’re seeing what Arshavin can do when he goes back to play in a weaker league, that’s got nothing to do with us.

    The Preferred position ? He plays out wide, gets to cut in, there is no real preferred position, it’s a free role, with no responsibility he enjoys,

    I seriously can’t understand people who don’t see that, his problem is he’s always had a comfort zone like Bacaryisgod pointed out, and it’s too late in his career for him to try to learn to play outside of it.

    That’s the difference between players like him or true greats like Bergkamp who when their legs went, or when they lost sharpness, used their heads to be useful in other ways.

  26. Gunner2301


    What do you think to our players leaving and looking better, more comfortable? Especially at City. I think our system exposes individual players and makes them look worse than they actually are, also players can look better with better quality around them, but Clichy for instance is a more balanced player not as erratic more composed looks a different player.

  27. Keyser

    “So in effect the way we are run we are damaging the prospects of the teams success to force a few youngsters through who we can then place in the shop window and sell on.”

    I think this is something that is key, we play these youngsters to bridge the gap to teams above, we play players with potential in the hope they’ll turn into top class players we’d otherwise struggle to attract or buy.

    We don’t force them in to sell them on, it’s simply one of the few ways we can compete, what Wenger’s missing is the players that we can buy in ready made to compliment them, this again is where Arshavin shows how hard that is to find.

  28. Dan Ahern

    Regarding Javi Martinez:

    How, exactly, are we supposed to get him?

    They don’t even want to sell him to Madrid, and they can pay his price tag of E 40m!

    In other Spanish news (or lack thereof), remember the Llorente press conference that was supposed to happen a while back? Not surprisingly, it didn’t.

  29. Keyser

    “What do you think to our players leaving and looking better, more comfortable? Especially at City. I think our system exposes individual players and makes them look worse than they actually are, also players can look better with better quality around them, but Clichy for instance is a more balanced player not as erratic more composed looks a different player.”

    Because they have a ridiculously overloaded squad, look at Wayne Bridge for example.

    It’s not the system, it’s that Clichy is put under more pressure with us, he was stretched in ways he isn’t with them.

    Do you really see Citeh as a fair example ? You were talking of wastage, for the money they’ve spent I’d say they’re underachieving.

  30. kwik fit

    Oh you all start to talk about llorente but i was talking about this guy two years ago. The reallity is the guys in fucking control will buy only cheap fuckin options!

  31. BacaryisGod

    The added benefit to the Euros is that it breaks the monotony and madness of transfer talk. I’m still convinced that in the back of Arsene and Ivan’s mind, they know that a negative net spend will go down appallingly with nearly every fan after several seasons of high-priced sales (Adebayor, Kolo, Cesc, Nasri brought in nearly 100 million between them).

    Last season our net spend wasn’t actually that bad when you look at how many players were brought in at the mid-range price point. This season there will be a revolt if we don’t spend more than we take in on transfers, even with a bumper new deal for RVP.

    So my completely unproven theory is that we will have a net transfer spend of + 10 million this season. That means any new players will need to be offset by sales, as we’ve already bagged Podolski. So here we have the rundown:

    Arshavin: 6.5 million
    Vela: 4.5 million
    Bendtner: 6 million
    Squillaci: 0.5 million
    Denilson: 0.5 million
    Chamakh: 2 million
    Ozyakup: 0.4 million

    Total: 20.4 million

    This can go up or down depending on the real salaries some of our players are on and the finer details of their contracts.

    If this is even close to accurate, maybe a couple of players like M’Vila and Dempsey are out of range as this would put our net transfer spend at nearly 20 million and that’s not happening. It might be M’Vila and a 2.5 million player or two more 10 million range players.

    We will have to sell before we commit to more players, so don’t be surprised to hear a lot of selling news before new players come in. We clearly don’t want to be rushing to offload players before window’s end and sinking whatever value they may have in the process. RVP and Theo will further complicate matters. As before, it’s almost inevitable we’ll be in a game of chicken in more than one instance.

  32. Ric

    Keyser your keister is full of massive amounts off shit and it is spewing out your breathing whole…

  33. sam

    the arshavin army needs to get over it. he plays well with the national team, he’s a good player but what we need to win things.
    i don’t see man city praising adebayor and bellamy, barca is getting rid of affelay and we are wishing to have our lame ducks back. it seems like arsene wenger is not the only one with a small club mentality and some fans are clearly thinking the same, happy with third place.
    arshavin is not a bad player, let him perform in the euro maybe david moyes or everton will give us few quids for him. then we bring someone better. its called upgrade!

  34. Dan Ahern

    Kwik – As if you were the only person who realized Llorente was a good player 2 years ago!
    We’re talking about him now because it was recently speculated that we were linked to him.
    Plenty of people have known his quality for a long time, I assure you.

  35. kwik fit


    Please role it back and you will see that kwik was pro Lloente from a long time back . But can I say the bald eagle will never pay over 15m so we are fucked. Double gunner has starerted something and it will grow believe me get behind him . I would if could. If you lot get behind Arsenal get behind Doublegonner Init!

  36. sam

    just remember 3 things
    1. if any of our lame ducks we shipped out on loan comes back we won’t be signing anyone.
    2. wenger is not going to change he doesn’t sub a player till after 60 minutes so we need a strong starting line-up, or it will be the same horror show.
    3. reason for van persie to leave if you remember man utd game at the emirates. in short, van persie doesn’t rate arshavin. he could see what we all knew when he came on, we’re f!cked. thats right! even fergie knew it so he brought his tireless korean to do it.
    result: f!cked
    becareful what you for wish for, its time to move on

  37. Dan Ahern

    kwik – I don’t doubt you were calling for him! I’m just saying. It’s a bit like going, “You lot think Xabi Alonso’s a good DM? I said that 2 years ago!”

  38. kwik fit

    Dan Ahern….there is a bit of Irish in there some where… Yes i agree I think hes better than cahamakh but anyone could say that . Whats your music Dan ?

  39. BacaryisGod

    The two positions we really need to sort out with a good back-up is GK and RB. Jenkinson really needs to go out on loan to a lower-level Premier League team for experience, but right now I’m not convinced he could start for any Premier League team on a regular basis. If so, why should we take a risk with him on the subs bench?

    One player who has been suggested before and who looks very useful is Nathaniel Clyne from Crystal Palace who looks like he can step up right away.

  40. Dan Ahern

    Haven’t looked at him. But he’d have to be pretty awful to be less prepared that Jenkinson. Poor Jenks.. got the build and the potential, but has too many basics to sort out before he’s ready. He needs to go to the Championship and play every game I think. If not, our only hope is Bouldy.

  41. follow the money

    I might keep track of how our players do at the Euros. How many goals? Assists? Blunders? Red Cards? It wouldn’t surprise me to see lots of blunders and not many goals and assists

  42. Dan Ahern

    Let’s see, follow the money,

    SZCZ ejected already.
    Arshavin 2 assists.
    Rosa didn’t do anything stat wise I don’t think.
    So far I’d saw we’re breaking even?

  43. Kushagra India

    From Desi Gunner very apt…

    “All-in-all Arshavin set up 7 chances and picked up two assists. It’s worth noting that he again started on the left and played a role very similar to the one he has at Arsenal with complete freedom to roam when attacking. However, the key difference was that his team were playing a counter-attacking game and found a great deal of space in the opposing half, something that is at a premium when he plays for the Gunners against better organized teams many of whom are defensively oriented. While watching the Russian play deft through-balls and take opponents on was immensely enjoyable, it’s still difficult to envisage a similar performance from him for the Gunners on a consistent basis in more physically demanding conditions.”

  44. Dream10

    From Matt Spiro

    Samir Nasri ‘no longer in Roberto Mancini’s plans for next season’, say L’Equipe. Inter a possible destination if he is sold

  45. David18

    After his performance on Friday for Poland the fear is that Szczesny could be about to become new Alex Manninger???