Spring Cleaning Imminent As Giroud Almost A Gunner
All the talk these past few days has been about Olivier Giroud and his move to Arsenal. After Arsene said last week that the deal was 90% done, Montpellier president Louis Nicollin claimed yesterday that it’s now 100% certain. A medical seems to be pending, but after seeing this picture, there doesn’t seem to be too much wrong with this boy. Perhaps it’s an opportunity for Arsenal to pursue a new line of posters aimed at female fans?
Giroud’s arrival means Marouane Chamakh is halfway out of the door. While Giroud is better on the ball by all accounts, both are fairly similar players in terms of aerial ability and hold up play. At present though, there seem to be few takers for the Moroccan as Bordeaux have ruled out a return for their former striker. Much of the focus is rightly on new arrivals, but we tend to forget that the club also needs to find homes for surplus players to make way for the incomings.
While Chamakh struggles to find a team, Nicklas Bendtner’s agent has claimed ‘worldwide’ interest in the best striker in the world. Of course, we heard similar pronouncements last summer from agent and Dad, culminating in Bendtner’s loan move to far off and tropically exotic Sunderland. It’s certain he doesn’t have a future at Arsenal so hopefully the club can sort his departure, and those of others quickly, so we are not forced into last-minute loan moves.
Denilson is also set to return to London at the end of the month, albeit reluctantly if reports are to believed. The Brazilian wants to stay at São Paulo and you can’t blame him for that as he’s now an integral part of their team. However, Arsenal are unlikely to agree to another loan deal and Denilson is not a difficult player so this is most likely a little gamesmanship between the clubs before a deal is agreed. Unfortunately, Denilson is the sort of player whose performances will never hog the headlines so finding buyers elsewhere might be a little difficult.
While there’s been a lot of focus on the new strikers and whether Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Alex Song will extend their stay, there are other areas that need strengthening as well. The most important of these is the goalkeeping situation with Almunia already gone and Fabianski unlikely to remain at the club next season.
Wojciech Szczesny is undoubtedly number one but he’s still young and there isn’t genuine competition to keep him on his toes. He has potential but is far from the finished article yet so having a quality keeper breathing down his neck will be good for both club and player. Of course, it’s a more difficult situation with goalkeepers than outfield players as they are rarely substituted so opportunities are limited for numbers 2 and 3. And finding a world-class goalkeeper content to play second fiddle and the occasional cup game is going to be hard.
The full-back positions seem to be covered for now, Santos and Jenkinson providing decent back up for Gibbs and Sagna. Santos is versatile enough to be played as a left-winger while Francis Coquelin and Nico Yennaris can slot in at right-back, if required. But in the centre, we could surely use another proven defender that can play 15-20 games a season to cover for the inevitable injuries. Koscielny and Vermaelen would still be first choice, but having Mertesacker, Djourou and the new signing waiting in the wings is a comforting thought.
A month ago, I wrote my views on the Yann M’Vila situation. What do you think, do we need to pursue the French midfielder? Or (and this is assuming Robin, Theo and Alex extend their contracts) would a goalkeeper and a central defender conclude our transfer dealings?
Do write in with your thoughts. Until tomorrow.