Wednesday, May 11

Double Dutch The Transfer Rumour Mill

This is a piece by @hahostolze who has kindly offered to keep us up to date with the transfer rumours this summer and give us his opinion on them he'll be back next week with further updates.
Its a long one but is his first one, Enjoy.

So, people, please do not take my word as gospel, all I am saying here is who I think Arsenal are realistically in for, who I hear Arsenal are in for, and why I think they would be targets and hopefully excellent additions to a side that still struggles a fair amount. No Mexes, Frey, de Rossi or Vucinic here, only realistic targets.  I will also talk about the players I might expect to leave.

Karim Benzema –Obvious choice that one but I am very convinced of this. We know that Arsenal enquired about him in January, and were only turned down because of the serious injury to Gonzalo Higuain. Benzema is French, adores Wenger, is a very good friend of Samir Nasri (and Abou Diaby), needs a player who knows, and understands, his game to play in the same side (we have those). The parallels with Thierry Henry are there: fast striker, fails at a big money club, knows Wenger. Personally would love to see him and RvP exchanging roles during matches, switching wings and central roles. In terms of the money, his salary at Real Madrid is high but he would probably take a pay cut to play for us. His fee would be about 20 to 25 million in euro’s, which is a lot, but with Kroenke at the helm and a big name like Benzema, this might give Arsenal the perfect impetus they need. I think this will happen.

Radamel Falcao –This is the backup to Karim Benzema, as far as I understand. I rate Falcao very highly, has scored more goals than we can all imagine this season in Portugal, but he would cost more than Benzema, is older, less proven, and frankly, for me, not quite the sort of striker we need. He is not technical enough, nor is he very big. He will not add to a team who have RvP (who, when fit, is better at pretty much everything) but if we sell both Bendtner and Vela, it might happen. He would cost at least 30 million euro’s. His agent has confirmed to Colombian television that Arsenal are interested, but to what level, only Arsene Wenger knows.

Scott Parker – With West Ham going down this season, Scott Parker seems to be our sure thing. I have heard, and have this idea confirmed by others, that if West Ham get relegated, Arsene Wenger will put all he can into signing Scott Parker. Wenger seems to think that Parker can play in Song’s role, in Wilshere’s role, and as a defensive midfielder in a 4-4-2 (like Flamini did). This would also allow us to use Song as a backup centre back at times, when needed. The fee would be a maximum of 8 million pounds, with a decent wage packet, and he would add the steel, passion and energy we need. I have no doubts we will be making a serious move for him. Whether we succeed will be up to Wenger. Parker is remarkably like Coquelin in tenacity, drive and calmness, but at 29, would give us a perfect balance of future and experience.

Phil Jones - One of the dark horses. We all know that Phil Jones has the talent, the drive, the youth and the ability to be a class act at both CB and DM. We need both, frankly, which is why he would be a good fit. Steve Rowley has watched him personally, so we know that the club really studied him hard. I believe Jones is excellent, but in our pursuit of a young, extremely talented central defender he will have to show he is better than Mamadou Sakho. Jones has the tenacity and technical ability to go far, and at 10 to 15 million pounds, won’t come cheap. Is he going to be worth it?

Mamadou Sakho
– ‘The new Lilian Thuram’ has an enormous hype around him. Big, commanding, technical, French, a real leader, very functional (can be a left-back, even holding midfielder) and very exciting. We have been following Sakho for years and he now has the real chance to leave. He would cost the same, if not more, than Phil Jones, but to me has more pedigree and has the Francophone qualities Wenger wants. I do not see Gary Cahill or Phil Jagielka actually remaining targets at Arsenal, with both highly overpriced, quite overrated and neither with that much European experience, and think that Wenger will choose from Sakho, Jones, or some obscure fellow in the vein of Koscielny. Christopher Samba is definitely leaving Blackburn for greener pastures, but I doubt he will join Arsenal. He remains an option, however. Jan Vertonghen has been named in Dutch media, as well as by Carrie Baird on ESPN, but I doubt Wenger considers him ready. His partnership, both at Ajax and at the Belgian national team, with Thomas Vermaelen, has been shaky at best and I do not see him as a viable candidate. He does have the DM role as a bonus, though. So perhaps, who knows.

Eden Hazard – We are all very familiar with Hazard, who has been linked with Arsenal for as long as I can remember. Arsenal have a deal with Lille OSC, his club, that allows us first refusal on him. So, if Chelsea were to offer 25 million and Lille would find that sufficient, we would get the chance to offer the same amount and know that ours would be accepted. Hazard is a big fan of Arsene Wenger and of players like Samir Nasri and Andrei Arshavin, and I can see the only real problem being the money he will cost, and the fact thatvery familiar with Hazard, who has been linked with Arsenal for as long as I can remember. Arsenal have a deal with Lille OSC, his club, that allows us first refusal on him. So, if Chelsea were to offer 25 million and Lille would find that sufficient, we would get the chance to offer the same amount and know that ours would be accepted. Hazard is a big fan of Arsene Wenger and of players like Samir Nasri and Andrei Arshavin, and I can see the only real problem being the money he will cost, and the fact that Lille, who gave him everything in football, are playing Champions League football next season. Perhaps he might stay one more year. It depends, as always, on the offer. Does Wenger want one of the biggest talents in world football? Then he will have to pay, and pay big.

Juan Mata – This is the backup to Eden Hazard, as far as I can tell. Arsenal have scouted both Andre Ayew and Gervinho too, but neither seems to be considered ready. There have been stories doing the rounds on Arsenal’s better blogs about interest and contact and I do not doubt these stories. Mata is an excellent winger with the potential to be better than David Silva and he would be a great addition to the squad. He would be cheaper than Hazard and a bit more experienced too. As far as I can tell, this is the only real backup option to Hazard. There is talk of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who would could still indeed be making a bid for, but I sincerely doubt he would be a first-team regular at his age. Mata would cost between 15 and 20 million pounds and have the same wages as most first-teamers, so that is good. Oxlade-Chamberlain might cost as much as 10m, but to me, he would be worth having. Arsenal lack pace and lack true wingers. Hazard, Mata and Oxlade-Chamberlain offer that, for now, and for the future. Two of these coming in might not be such a wild idea.

Carl Jenkinson – for a profile on this guy (and indeed for the youth signings, and departures) go to Young Guns Blog or indeed Jeorge Bird’s Arsenal Youth blog, but the 19 year old Finnish-English defender is a multitalented, self describing set play expert left-back who can play at centre-back and as a right-back. Arsenal have pretty much wrapped up the deal for the Charlton defender, who will go into the Reserves and first-team for next season.

Goalkeepers – Last season we made some significant bids for goalkeepers, like Pepe Reina, but with Chesney having established himself as a proper number one, I think only an old, experienced goalie is a remote possibility. I have heard, from interesting places, strong rumours about Gigi Buffon, and he would be a great asset, for a season or two. Other than that, we have the continuing stirring of names like Stekelenburg, Neuer and Handanovic, all great keepers, all not gonna happen.

Other rumours – Willian, Kaka, Rodwell, Montolivo, Young, Baines, Inler, and the standard stocking of names like Chiellini, Diarra, M’Bia, Matuidi.... not gonna happen. All great players, none seems a genuine target this summer. I did hear some interesting things on Chiellini but he would demand too much, cost too much and just be difficult for us. Keep your ears open though on unknown players, especially Francophone ones, they might just be real targets.

So, who do I expect to leave?

Denilson – Denilson is a goner. Too bad, but inevitable. With players like Coquelin, Wilshere and Ramsey probably ahead of him now and with Wenger looking at some all-round midfield experience in the shape of Parker, he is just not going to make it here. Sevilla, Roma and some Brazilian and German teams are interested, as are a few La Liga teams. We can sell for at least 8 to 10 million which is good business.

Manuel Almunia - I doubt more needs to be said...

Nicklas Bendtner – I am sorry to say, but Bendtner seems to have gone away. He has all the attributes to make it big, but that is a discussion for a different day. Many German and Italian clubs are very interested, as are indeed some Premiership teams. He would go for at least 15 million, which, with ten million extra, would make Benzema a bargain for us, in my opinion.

Sebastien Squillaci – With an extra central defender bound to come in, and with the excellent Kyle Bartley (and perhaps even Ignasi Miquel) coming through the ranks, Squillaci’s days are numbered. Lille, PSG and a lot of good Ligue 1 sides are interested and with Adil Rami leaving Lille, might be a great makeweight in the deal for Eden Hazard. If we don’t find a good midfielder (allowing Song to cover CB at times) and Bartley demands another loan, Squillaci might stay, but I doubt it.

Thomas Rosicky - No longer of any value to the team (apart from his friendship with Cesc Fabregas) he is wanted in Spain, Italy, Germany and the rest of the world. He is very talented and has good experience but does not suit Arsenal any more. Rumours that he might be used as a makeweight in the deal for Mario Götze appear to be off, with Borussia Dortmund not allowing Götze to leave, but perhaps we can use Rosicky for other purchases.

You may wonder why I don’t think that names like Vela, Chamakh, Arshavin and Clichy will leave. Clichy wants to stay, I understand, and is in the process of renewing his contract, although next season, should Gibbs finally show us he is ready, he might leave. Vela will be given another chance, perhaps on loan again, after Wenger heard very good things from Roy Hogdson, who Wenger loves, trusts and rates highly. Chamakh has much interest for him in Spain and France but wants to stake his claim. I would love him staying, he was brilliant in the first part of the season. Arshavin seems to be the one everyone expects to leave but I think that with new wingers coming in, it will give Arshavin the chance to be a match changing substitute, like he likes being, and impart his very significant footballing wisdom onto the next generation. After that, next summer, I have no doubt he will go back home to Russia, for a decent amount. He might even extend his contract this summer simply for the purpose of having a get-out clause for next summer, I have heard.

So there you have it, folks. Abou Diaby, Carlos Vela, Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone and other scapegoats are staying at Arsenal, and getting their last chances, next season. In will come an exciting array of talents, between three and four if you ask me, and out will go all the players who I consider, in some cases very grudgingly, ‘dead-wood’. This is what our summer will be like. How wrong will I be? Only time can tell.

This is a piece by @hahostolze 

@TheRSD out


Philbet said...

Pretty much exactley as I see it,even the amounts quoted are accurate enough,all the moaners who think Denilson is useless dont realise he has a transfer value of £10Million and is better than the vast majority of Premiership midfielders and if he was playing in a struggling team (Wigan,Wolves,Birmingham,etc) would be a star player, He simply has not progressed enough for a side with championship pretences,
Bendtner pretty much sealed his move away with the miss against Barca but I agree £15Million is his price.

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