Today’s Combos: Dzeko-Robin, Koscielny-Barcelona, Frimpong-Trouble
It’s quiet on the Arsenal news front. With Robin Van Persie expected back at the club sometime later this week, the news stories in the meantime are the same old speculations on the Dutchman’s future at the Emirates.
Ray Parlour has joined the RvP debate too. The ‘Romford Pele’ feels that if our current club captain moves to City, Arsenal should look to secure Edin Dzeko in return. But with Giroud already on-board, it’s difficult to see the Gunners moving for another tall fair handsome striker. And with their exorbitant wage demands, there is a good reason the current direction of transfers between the two clubs is Arsenal to City and not the other way around.
The one City player I would love to see at Arsenal is Kolo Toure. He seems destined to move out of Manchester this summer, Turkey a likely destination. If the ex-Gunner is willing to take a wage cut, Arsenal could do worse than signing him as defensive reinforcement. The Ivorian may not be at his imperial best, but he’ll certainly provide better defensive back-up than Squillaci. Also, he’s always a very popular character and his experience, positivity and camaraderie would help the dressing room immensely.
Apparently, Barcelona are interested in signing Laurent Koscielny to solve their defensive problems. Of course, Arsenal would never sell the Frenchman this summer but the defender’s current deal runs down in 2014. The club is already is discussions to extend his contract by a further three years. If Arsenal are successful in doing that, we would be in a better position to dictate terms to the likes of Barcelona and City with a long-term player commitment in our favour.
There’s a lot written about how Arsenal are sloppy in allowing contracts of key players to run down until their last year. In my opinion, most of this criticism is harsh and does not take the realities into account. Koscielny’s current situation is exactly the same we faced with Robin van Persie last summer, when the club offered him an extension but the Dutchman chose not to discuss it at the time.
If Laurent Koscielny doesn’t sign extension now, he will have only a year left on his contract at the end of next season. It’s not ideal but what should the club do if the Frenchman refuses to discuss terms at present? Should Arsene Wenger sell him now and risk destabilising the defense or invite judgement on Arsenal’s contract policies at the end of next season?
Football wages are so inflated at present that it’s the players who are in control of the situation. If Koscielny wishes, he could take a chance on his form and fitness and wait another year. If he continues his impressive form from last season, he can then force Arsenal at the end of May 2013 to make a better offer or invite attention from clubs such as Manchester City.
Remember also that players appoint an agent to do their financial thinking for them and you can be sure Koscielny’s agent is presently advising him to wait a year or seek very favourable terms at present. And if Arsenal gamble and offer Koscielny a bumper deal now, there is always the danger that the Frenchman could get injured or suffer a loss of form. In which case, the club will get heavily criticized for being tied down to ‘deadwood’ on a long-term deal.
It’s a tough situation. As fans, I feel we should consider these factors before being too judgemental on the club’s actions in contracts negotiations.
On a separate note, Emmanuel Frimpong is once again in the news, this time for a tweet-fight with a Tots supporter. Regardless of whether the word ‘yid’ is considered offensive or not, Frimpong continues to disappoint with his antics on Twitter. Every player has a different personality and I appreciate that the Ghanaian is a forceful character. But at this stage of his footballing career, he would do well to get off the social networks, keep a low profile off the field and let his football do the talking.
That’s all for today. Back with more thoughts tomorrow.