M’Baye, M’Vila, M’Song?
Arsenal’s first pre-season friendly of the summer takes place tomorrow at Southampton, with two 45-minute games against the hosts and
Dutch Belgian side Anderlecht. It’s unlikely any of the senior members will be involved but it should be good opportunity for some of the younger squad members, a chance to make an early impression on the manager.
Speaking of youngsters, 17-year old M’Baye Niang is on trial at the club from French outfit Caen. He’s highly rated in his home country and would be another one for the future, if Arsenal were to make a move. But you have to wonder if we need another young forward – Joel Campbell, Ryo Miyaichi and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain have all been recruited in the past year. Also, Benik Afobe has impressed with the England’s U-19s at the European Championships too.
On the other hand, opportunities to snap up talented youngsters on the cheap are increasingly difficult to come by and it may turn out to be an excellent acquisition for the Gunners. You really can’t have too many talented young strikers and if Arsene is looking at the boy, he must be a little special.
I remember another 17-year old that trialled at the club back in 2005. At the time, AW was suitably impressed and after an initial loan deal from his French club, the Gunners clinched a deal for an unknown player for just £1m. After seven years with the club, Alex Song is very much in the spotlight now. No doubt Niang’s interest in Arsenal, as of most promising youngsters, is the chance of developing under Master Wenger.
At the same time, the Gunners have reportedly withdrawn from negotiations for another talented French youngster with an aprostrophe-ied name. Yann M’Vila is apparently not on Arsenal’s radar anymore, if he ever was. With the removal of any tenuous links with one possible French midfield enforcer, the media are now speculating Arsenal are moving for another, Toulouse’s Etienne Capoue.
In my opinion, if news of cooling interest in Yann M’Vila is true, it probably has more to do with a likely deal to extend Alex Song’s contract. I do think Arsene would favour a more fluid midfield with players interchanging roles – and the Arteta/Song partnership offers just that. With Coquelin and Frimpong waiting in the wings for the defensive midfield roles, Arsenal probably need a creative midfielder more urgently – Wilshere is still recovering, Rosicky is older, Ramsey’s form not the best and the Ox is not ready for that position yet.
There isn’t much else that is newsworthy so it’s a short post today. Back tomorrow with more thoughts.